Having a personal brand is hot and hip right now. All it really means is that you know how to package yourself. We all have skills, talents, abilities and passion. If you look at each of these by themselves, they aren't unique. You and your brand become unique once you've combined them together.
I was talking to a city planner turned into historic preservation fanatic the other day. He's worried that his return to the city planning world may look fishy to employers. Instead, I helped him see how his historic preservation credentials combined with his city planning experience can make him a really sweet candidate to the right city/town/area. It was an "Aha" moment. Instead of covering up his historic preservation interest, he's going to partner it as a unique brand!
In talking to another person about her recent relocation without a job, she understood how her blend of different work experiences add value to her where ever she goes.
Before you embark on a job search or if you are already full swing into it, you need to understand and begin embracing this concept. It will require introspection, but it will be well worth it in the long run.
Here are some posts and blogs to read to more fully immerse you into the concept:
It all started with Tom Peters: The Brand Called You! from Fast Company
Define Your Brand with Simple Questions from Harvard Business Review
Now here are some blogs dedicated to the topic of personal branding!
On Twitter: Lists to follow:
Mohammad Al-tee's List of personal branding @MAltee/personal branding has the largest number of folks to follow.