“So, tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you do?”
Have you ever had to respond to a statement or question like that? I’ve asked thousands of young people that question and the typical response I get starts off like this:
In interviews and networking situations, you will be expected to respond to questions about who you are and what you do. A personal brand statement—a brief summary about you—is a professional way to introduce yourself. If you create one and practice it, you can avoid being caught off guard.
Here are three simple steps for creating your personal brand statement:
1. Write down something about you that is impressive or cool.
Don’t worry. You won’t come across as arrogant or conceited.
Duncan Nugget® #246:
It’s not bragging if they ask you to say it.
Here are some examples of great responses I’ve gotten:
“I’m an honors student at…”
“I’m the head drum major in the marching band at…”
“I’m the manager at…”
“I’m the president of the FBLA club at…”
“I’m the #1 ranked basketball player in the state.”
If you have trouble coming up with something that you think is cool or impressive, don’t worry. I got you. Check out the next step.
2. Write down your expertise, main career goal or something you aspire to be.
It’s always impressive to talk to people who know what they want in life. It shows that they’ve taken the time to think about their dreams and goals and how they plan to accomplish them.
Here are some great examples of what has been said to me:
“I’m a student at Emory and I plan to start my own non-profit.”
“I’m in the 12th grade. Next year I’ll be attending Babson College and majoring in entrepreneurship.”
“I’m headed to Johns Hopkins University to study medicine and become a neurosurgeon.”
“I’m going to Le Cordon Bleu and eventually I’ll own my own restaurant.”
“I love to write poetry and I’m going to write a book for young women that will inspire them to achieve all they can.”
“I’m an expert at graphic design. Can I show you my portfolio?”
After you’ve finished the first 2 steps, you’ll need a few power words or phrases.
3. Write down 3-5 power words or short phrases that describe you.
You can pick whatever words or phrases you like. Here are 10 to get you started. Remember you only need 3, maybe 5 at the most. Trying to be everything is not good.
– Motivated[break]- Energetic[break]- Resourceful[break]- Versatile[break]- Creative[break]- Detail-oriented[break]- Organized[break]- Outgoing[break]- Calm under pressure[break]- Team-player[break]- Persistent
Now, let’s put it all together:
I’m a senior at Central High School with a 3.8 GPA. Next year I’ll be attending Babson College and majoring in entrepreneurship. I’m known for being resourceful, outgoing, and persistent.
That’s a strong brand statement. Create yours, PRACTICE it, and the next time somebody asks you about what you do, you can start off with something other than “uhhh…”
How soon are you going to create and practice your personal brand statement?
NOTE: If you want to know what type of questions to ask the person you’re talking to check out Million-Dollar Networking Questions.
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