Power Up Your Brand . . . for Interviews

By Clyde C. Lowstuter

Ever asked someone to briefly describe himself and what you get is 20,000 well chosen words of their verbal autobiography?  An ideal brand statement is to be highly telegraphic and identify a couple key points in ten words or less. Clearly, it’s not meant to be a “tell-all” description, nor should it replace your 3-minute Verbal Resume.

Metal Branding Brand FrontCreating a succinct and powerful brand statement that is accurate and compelling is both an art form and a science. Way too many brand statements are too detailed, too general, too lengthy, too slick, or feel inauthentic.  The challenge and opportunity, then, is to communicate what you are uniquely known for and how you have made a difference.

Here is a “Before” example and a couple of “After” examples.  You’ll readily note the differences.

BEFORE:

I am an accomplished global Chief Operating Officer with significant experience in P&L, management, operations, engineering, sales, and marketing.  I have a proven track record of accelerating sales, profit growth, business restructuring, continuous improvement, and operational efficiencies.  I am experienced in mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and emerging technologies in rapidly changing manufacturing and supply chain environments.  [56 words]

How did this strike you?  Fairly complete, but not something you could deliver in 5 seconds. What did you specifically remember?  What was your impression?

AFTER:

I’m a P&L Executive that develops high performance teams that drive transformational change and organizational growth and profitability. [18 words]

Not bad for 18 words.  Clear, succinct, and descriptive enough to pique the interest of an employer or executive recruiter. But can we prune a bit more?

As GM, I drive transformational change, organizational growth, and profitability. [10 words]

See the difference?  The “Before” brand has some good specifics, but it borders on “blah, blah.”  The second “After” brand statement is much more crisp.  It’s punchy and hooks the interviewer with only 10 words.  Plus, it projects an air of confidence that communicates you don’t need to use a lot of words to capture your essence. As an interviewer, I am curious and ready to ask questions –“Great, tell me more about the organizational changes that you led and the P&L impact.  What was transformational about it?  How did you grow the business and enhance profitability?”

Give it a try.  Create your own compelling, authentic brand. Shoot for 10 words or less.  Less is more!

You’ll find that having a brand statement that is tightly worded and unique to you will power up your interviewing.

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