Personal Branding: Leave an IMPRESSION. 

Personal branding is an ongoing process of defining and maintaining your best IMAGE with the end goal of leaving a lasting IMPRESSION.  Your professional brand matters and we know there is nothing like having a great first impression.

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Four Steps for Branding:

1. Know your value. What do you stand for and believe in? Show potential employers.

2. Search yourself personally and online. How do you want to be perceived in the professional realm? How are you perceived already on social media and other digital channels?

3. Associate with like people and professions that make you stronger. Research industries you like and positions you would like to explore.

4. Give yourself a story and be able to explain what it is you're passionate about. 


Resumes CAN write themselves.

Build a resume in 15 minutes or less with Resume Engine.


What is personal branding? Personal branding is the process of "selling yourself" to a potential employer. Creating a resume is just the first step in getting a job, and should be part of the jobseeker's "value proposition."

What is a value proposition? Your value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results an employer would obtain from hiring you. When selling yourself to a potential employer, explain what differentiates you as a candidate. Translate your military experience or volunteer work to the career field you're pursuing, and clarify military terminology and acronyms in the process. 

But how do I use my "value proposition"? Use your value proposition everywhere: on your resume, in "elevator pitches," and when interviewing. An elevator pitch is your personal brand statement-- it should only be about 30 seconds long, short enough to deliver during an elevator ride. Elevator pitches should include who you are, what you're looking for, and why you're valuable to a prospective employer. Don't forget your military service!

What else can I do to promote my brand? Marketing, targeting, and networking can also help promote your brand and land you a job. Once you have your resume and elevator pitch, you can begin marketing yourself to potential employers. Using tools such as LinkedIn can help you market, target, AND network at the same time!

Now check out more specific Personal Branding Tips!

Branding Tips: You do YOU.

RESUME DO'S

  • Use terms understood and valued by employers
  • Showcase breadth of skills and experience
  • Highlight relevant accomplishments
  • Use key words that reflect the job description
  • Go to Resume Engine/Career Spark to build a professional resume in just a matter of minutes!

 

RESUME DON'TS

  • Don't input personal information such as your SSN
  • Avoid long paragraphs, military acronyms, colored paper, and personal pronouns
  • Don't use an unprofessional email address or include photos

ELEVATOR PITCH

  • Keep it short-- about 30 seconds
  • Communicate who you are, what you're looking for, and why you're valuable to a potential employer
  • Don't forget to mention you're a veteran or military spouse

INTERVIEW

  • Do your research: on the company's mission statement and corporate values, its structure/organization, recent projects and news stories, and specific role responsibilities 
  • Identify questions to ask your interviewer at the end
  • Print several copies of your resume
  • Be prepared for questions such as "Tell me about yourself," "What are your strengths and weaknesses?," and "Why does this job interest you?"

NETWORKING

  • Seek out mentors, such as through Veterati or Veteran eMentor
  • Create a LinkedIn profile and join networking groups in career fields or geographic regions that interest you
  • Reach out to individuals at companies and in career fields that interest you to set up informational interviews; try the HOH LinkedIn Group!
  • Always remember to follow up after networking events and interviews

TARGETING

  • Looking for a full-time job IS a full-time job-- allocate time for yourself and your research
  • Target realistic job opportunities and post your resume on Resume Engine
  • Use Fast Track to target specific industries and other job boards for research
 

Personal Brand Ambassadors: Be INSPIRED.

These individuals have built authentic and powerful brands-- personally and professionally-- in the course of their military to civilian transitions.

 
Sgt. Dakota Meyer, USMC (Ret.), Medal of Honor Recipient

Sgt. Dakota Meyer, USMC (Ret.), Medal of Honor Recipient

Bonnie Amos, spouse of the former Commandant of the Marine Corps

Bonnie Amos, spouse of the former Commandant of the Marine Corps

The Honorable Patrick Murphy, former Undersecretary of the Army

The Honorable Patrick Murphy, former Undersecretary of the Army

Betty Welsh, spouse of the former Chief of Staff of the Air Force

Betty Welsh, spouse of the former Chief of Staff of the Air Force

Col. Adam Rocke, USA (Ret.), former Director of Solider for Life

Col. Adam Rocke, USA (Ret.), former Director of Solider for Life

SSG Ryan Pitts, USA (Ret.), Medal of Honor Recipient

SSG Ryan Pitts, USA (Ret.), Medal of Honor Recipient

Chief Mitchell Hall, USN (Ret.), former U.S. Navy SEAL

Chief Mitchell Hall, USN (Ret.), former U.S. Navy SEAL

When I began transitioning out of the military, I realized companies weren’t looking to hire snipers. But they are looking for strong leaders with organizational skills. Resume Engine can help translate your skills for a civilian audience.
— Dakota Meyer

Follow Dakota on Facebook and Twitter:

 

Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer is a United States Marine Corps veteran, the recipient of the Medal of Honor – the military’s highest honor, and the New York Times best-selling author of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War. He is also an entrepreneur, having founded a successful construction company in Kentucky.

Meyer earned his medal for his actions during the Battle of Ganjigal, which was part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He is the first living Marine to have received the medal since 1973 and one of the youngest. Humble and soft-spoken, Meyer insists that he is not a hero, and that any Marine would do the same thing.

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Hear What Dakota has to say


Why should employers hire military spouses? Well we’re just damn good. We’re talented, we’re educated...unbelievable determination, guts, strength, courage...and the ability to overcome.
— Bonnie Amos

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From October 2010 until September 2014, Mrs. Amos served alongside General Amos while he was Commandant of the United States Marine Corps.  Always a staunch advocate for military families, it was during this time that Mrs. Amos had the opportunity to influence policies and programs within the Marine Corps and DOD, enhancing the well-being of military families. As a Hiring Our Heroes Ambassador, Mrs. Amos travels to installations across the country—often with Medal of Honor Recipient and fellow HOH Ambassador Dakota Meyer—to advocate for service members and military spouses.

 

Since Mark started as the 20th Chief of Staff of the Air Force, we have visited 100+ bases and 19 countries. I have learned so much from the Airmen and spouses I have met with along the way…people are the bedrock of our military.
— Betty Welsh
 

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Betty Welsh is married to General Mark Welsh, the 20th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. When her husband was first deployed in 1990, Betty was faced with raising four children-- aged 10, 8, 3, and 1 years old-- alone without the comforts of email, Skype, or social media. Encountering a world without spouse programs, Betty organized a phone tree system to support other deployed families. A longtime advocate, Betty spent her time as First Lady of the Air Force promoting military family causes. As Hiring Our Heroes' newest Ambassador, Betty is ready to hit the ground running and use her platform to target and support transitioning service members.

 

For me, it’s always been about service, whether in the infantry, Congress, or the Pentagon. I could not be more proud to continue my service through Hiring Our Heroes.
— Patrick Murphy

Follow Patrick on Facebook and Twitter:

 

Patrick Murphy has served our country as a soldier, Congressman, and most recently as Under Secretary of the Army. He has also worked as a television anchor and contributor to NBC Universal and as Chief Executive Officer of MSNBC's "Taking the Hill." Murphy served two overseas deployments following 9/11, and represented the 8th District of Pennsylvania from 2007-2011. 

 

Transition is continuous, just like the process of personal branding. It takes consistent, hard work— something our service members know they’re capable of.
— Col. Adam Rocke (Ret.)
 

Follow Adam on Twitter:

 

Col. Adam Rocke (Ret.) most recently served as Special Assistant to the Army Chief of Staff as Director of the Soldier for Life Program. Prior to running the Army's transition program, Rocke served as a Deputy Director in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He holds a Bachelor's in History from Florida International University and two Master's degrees from the National Defense University and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. After serving for decades, the former Colonel is ready to engage transitioning troops from the civilian side. 

 

Service members possess a rare courage and commitment. Our task is to convey that commitment as we move into the civilian world and jobseeking process.
— Ryan Pitts
 
 

Ryan Pitts joined the Army at age 17 under the delayed entry program. The Medal of Honor Recipient was deployed twice to Afghanistan during his service-- first in 2005 for 12 months, then in 2007 for 15 months. Pitts won the Medal of honor for a courageous fight in Afghanistan, where he took and maintained control of Observation Post Topside against an assault of a 200-member Anti-Afghan Force. Pitts departed active duty in 2009, and has a B.A. in Business from the University of New Hampshire. 

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Personal branding requires more than a checklist. It takes focus, creative design, and story-telling.
— Mitchell Hall
 

Follow Mitch on Twitter:

 

After a 21 year career as a Navy SEAL that involved more than eight deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mitch Hall has unleashed a new career in start-ups, organizational leadership, and consulting for the entertainment industry. Currently, he serves as President/CEO of Trident Focus Consulting, where he engages in innovation support, product development, and end-user seeding to Under Armour and other pinnacle brands. He also serves as Chief Operating Officer of Bright Signs Learning and as Producer/Technical Advisor to the TV series Six.