How to Create, Market and Role Model a Powerful Personal Brand

Personal Branding is a hot topic these days, but do you really know what it means?


And do you know how to leverage your personal brand to get the career you really want?

Getting bigger promotions, better clients and a more meaningful career depends largely on how you’re perceived by senior managers, colleagues, peers, and potential clients or employers. To maximize your career opportunities and get into a career that actually inspires you to get out of bed in the morning, let’s start by strengthening your personal brand.

Step #1. Identify your value.

Having a powerful personal brand means that you consistently deliver what you say you’re going to deliver. In other words, it’s the skills, experience and value that you provide to your employer or clients. Whether it’s bringing in new streams of revenue, managing highly valued projects or developing creative marketing campaigns, your career is fueled by the value that you consistently deliver to employers.

Your value is a unique blend of your strengths, professional accomplishments and personal characteristics (such as being a good leader, risk taker, problem solver, strategic thinker, etc.). All of these combined make up your “value package,” which makes you truly unique from a crowd of colleagues, business associates and even job applicants.

Read the full article on the Fresh Start blog.  🙂

Bouncing Back After a Lay-Off

Three of my clients were hired last week(!) including Cindy, a financial analyst in the mortgage industry who had been laid off 3 months earlier. In fact, Cindy received two (2) job offers in the same week!

After being in the banking industry for 20 years, and with the same company for 10, she found herself abruptly out of a job just before the Christmas holidays. She first contacted me six weeks ago, saying that she needed help finding a new job fast!

Specifically, her challenge was “How do you get a new job, when you were laid off in your last position?”

As Cindy’s Career Coach, our first step was to go through the grieving process.  Cindy had been so focused on finding her next job, that she hadn’t been able to let go of all the pain, dissappointment and embarrassment that comes with being laid off.  It’s natural to have those feelings, and it’s important to work through those emotions so that you can let them go and move on to your interviews feeling confident and assured.

Many, many professionals have been laid off in this economy, so there is no shame in being laid off.  Where it gets tricky though, is knowing how to answer questions to showcase yourself in the best light. 

By learning more about Cindy’s talents, strengths and accomplishments I helped her map out her network, and prepare a 3-step strategy to help her promote herself in a tactful way! 😉  

So, how do you speak about your strengths and successes in a tactful way without making it sound like you’re bragging?  Below are 3 key strategies to help you tactfully toot your own horn without sounding cheeeeeesy…

1.    Talk about your projects, teams, and the value they delivered to the organization.  It may feel uncomfortable talking about your achievements, but the fact is you won’t get noticed (yet alone hired!) if you don’t talk about them.

Here’s a tip – focus on the projects and teams you contributed to, and the value they delivered to the organization.  Talk about goals, or stretch goals, that were met and how they benefited the organization to help increase revenue, save costs, or gain more market share.

2.    Focus on results.  On your resume, in your interviews, and in your networking opportunities – instead of talking about your previous responsibilities, talk about tangible results you helped to achieve. When you quantify your achievements with a number, dollar, or percentage, you add credibility to your successes and rise above the competition.

For example, instead of saying that you managed a sales team for a specific product, instead, say that you led a sales team that generated $250,000 a year for the past 3 years!  Quantifying your successes says that you are a driver, high achiever, and that you get results.

3.    Attitude is the key ingredient!  I’ve found that getting a new job really boils down to two things: confidence and passion.  To get the job offer at the NBC-TV station in Monterey and beat out the other 100 job candidates, I was passionate about the company AND the position.  Even though I didn’t have the kind of experience that was required, I told the hiring manager that I absolutely knew that I could do the job.

There’s a kind of quiet confidence that we all have down deep inside.  A confidence that comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing.  When you transition into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job. 

And finally…
Great companies are ALWAYS looking to hire great talent – and that means you!  So, if you’re serious about getting into a new career, then follow these three tips, power up your confidence, and believe in yourself!  You’ll significantly increase your chances of getting hired, decrease the time it takes, and be much more likely to transition into a new career that inspires you.

Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books!  Career Coaching 360 ( provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily.   To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360’s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages.

Salary Strategies and Boosting your Income

Economist salaries by educational attainment.

Image via Wikipedia

If you’re like me, you’re naturally curious about how your salary compares with other peers and colleagues, and even more importantly, how you can increase your salary in your coporate job. 

One of my favorite websites is which allows you to see salaries by job title, companies, and region.  You must first enter your own job role and salary, but the site allows you to do this anonymously.

My good friend Laura Browne offers “3 Tips for Getting a Raise in 2011” including how to build a business case and partnering with your manager.

And finally, if you’re looking for a new career you may want to read’s article “Red Hot Jobs Right Now” to get a peek at the hottest jobs and the average salary for each.

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3 Resume Secrets to Land Your Dream Job

Virtual Resume & Letter

Career Coaching 360, LLC

Your resume can do a lot more than land you a job interview.  It can also help position you as the top candidate going into interviews, and even help you get a higher starting salary which could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career.  

So how do you know if you’ve written your resume correctly so it gives you a leading edge over other job candidates?  Below is a resume checklist with ten strategies to help you write your resume and put yourself in high demand in today’s job market. 

  1. Feature key words.  Key words are those skills listed as the job requirements in the job postings.  Key words are different for every job so you need to look closely at the job description.  Then, showcase all of those requirements that you meet in a section called Key Strengths, right underneath the Objective section. 
  2. Show results. This is the single biggest difference in making your resume stand out from all the other thousands of resumes.  I do this myself, and I know this is why I get the interviews.  Underneath your Key Strengths section, I list 4-5 career highlights that are results focused. Quantify each of your career highlights in terms of dollars, percentages, or numbers.  For example, let’s say that you’re in sales and you’ve brought in an average of 10 new clients per month.  That’s 120 clients a year, and if you’ve been doing that for the past 3 years, that’s 360 new clients!  So one of your career highlights could be, Gained approximately 360 new clients which generated $360,000 in new revenue in three years.Also, try to quantify each of your accomplishments for every job that you list in the Experience section.
  3. Highlight leadership and teamwork. Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong leaders, AND strong team contributors.  Someone who can lead, as well as be led.  So highlight your leadership skills – and what the results were with the projects and teams that you’ve led. If you’re just started out in your career and haven’t led any projects or teams, then highlight any leadership experience you may have had in professional organizations, a sports league, in church, or any other extra-curricular activities.  Also, list projects in which you were a strong team member in terms of what your role was, and what the team accomplished.

And finally…

Studies show that your resume has about 20-seconds in the hands of a hiring manager before it gets tossed into the “maybe” pile, or into the trash.  Think of it this way, when you walk into an interview you’re going to dress up to make a great first impression.  Your resume needs to do the same thing – make a great first impression! 
If you’d like help in getting more interviews, grabbing the attention of HR professionals, or reinventing yourself into a new career, then check out our resume services.  You may also want to see how we’ve helped our clients reinvent their career!
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