How to Build Your Personal Brand

identify stories identify strengths linkedin profile personal brand resume value proposition

Owning your personal brand is the most impactful decision that you can make for your career.

Below, I outline my five-part framework to master your personal brand.


1. Discover Your Strengths

Your strengths are the activities that fuel and engage you. While you're doing them, they absolutely light you up.

Marcus Buckingham says, "a strength is an activity that draws you in; it makes time fly while you're doing it and it makes you feel strong."

Identifying these specific activities brings sustainability and balance.

If you want to be satisfied with your job for many years to come, you must love the work that you're doing. Not only will this allow you to consistently produce amazing output, but you'll be fully engaged.

To discover your strength-based activities, first catalog what you're doing: as you're going through your day, document how you feel while you're doing each activity and then how you feel right after.

If you feel like you've gained energy, it's probably a strength-based zone for you. But if you feel depleted and not wanting to do that work, it's not in your strength-based lane.

The most elite organizations are moving towards having their workforce playing within their strengths.


2. Craft Your Stories

Your stories depict the results of your work. Basically, you purposefully narrate those times when you delivered a high return.

They often show up as time saved, improved quality measures, a product that gets to the market quicker...

Identifying these stories is one of the most important things to move your branding forward.

Crafting these stories involves systematically dissecting those times when you delivered high impact:

  • First, identify the results: what is the outcome of the story?
  • Backtrack into the specific actions you took to generate that result.
  • Take a step further back and pinpoint the situation that made you take on this project; what problem did you see and how did you find it?

This will give you the specific pieces needed to put together those amazing stories that best showcase what you bring to the table.

If you put together seven to 10 amazing stories of big needle-moving delivery, you are prepared to go out and sell yourself to the marketplace.


3. Write a Value Proposition

A value proposition is the most critical component in this framework as it depicts the backbone of who you are in your career.

It's a statement that enables somebody to see and understand you.

When you deliver a strong value proposition, you give the other person the ability to easily see you in a role doing the work that you're saying you can do.

A good value proposition has the following components:

  • who you are
  • who you serve
  • in what way you serve that group
  • to what end (ie, your unique strengths identified towards a unique delivery)

Putting these elements together results in a powerful statement that allows the receiver to assess the value that you offer.

Networking is all about is putting yourself in front of decision makers. A strong value proposition is a great tool to help them see you in their organization.


4. Draft Your Professional Resume

A professional resume enables the reviewer to truly get to know you: it puts forward your value proposition and highlights your strengths and stories.

Your resume delivers a clean, concise narrative that supports and props up your value proposition.

In an interview process, your resume will help the hiring manager see you in their world delivering excellent work. Your resume is the cheat sheet that will help you confidently answer those behavioral interview questions.


5. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

The last component to this five-part framework is optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

As one of the pillars supporting your value proposition, your LinkedIn profile should tell the same story that your resume does. Consistency in all aspects of this framework is key.

When editing your LinkedIn profile, think about the sections that are absolutely critical:

  • Heading. If you don't edit your heading, LinkedIn pulls your last job title and company. This is a missed opportunity. Instead, add some of your key strengths and part of your value proposition.
  • Profile picture. Your picture should be cropped to your head and the top of your shoulders, and should have a neutral background from which you stand out. You should be front-facing and have a welcoming smile. The key to your profile picture is giving a nice congenial virtual handshake as if the viewer was in a room with you.
  • Background. Most people leave this blank, but this space is another chance for impact. In Canva, type in "LinkedIn banner". This will yield templates that you can utilize to highlight your value proposition. It's the perfect space to sell yourself graphically/visually.
  • About section. When recruiters are looking for candidates on LinkedIn, the system's search tools do look through the words in our About sections. Utilize the work you've done following this framework and bring your strengths, stories, and value proposition to your About section. You can also add specific keywords that will put your profile at the top of search results. The cherry on top? End with a call to action.
  • Work experience. Use the components that you built into your resume, and bring them over into your LinkedIn profile. This will help tell that consistent story.
  • Skills section. LinkedIn allows you to have up to 50 skills; use all of them. Recruiters utilize Skills as one of their main search criteria. Make sure your strongest three skills are listed at the top.



In all, effective branding revolves around knowing yourself. The key to presenting this clearly and concisely is following a focused approach to identifying your strengths, building your stories, and sharing your value proposition.

Building your personal brand is how you get hired. Building your personal brand is how you grow your impact.


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