In my career management piece for Life Reimagined At Work, I cover personal branding for the professional with the non-traditional background:
A seasoned journalist contacted me years after we’d worked together, inviting me to a fine arts show where he was exhibiting. I was impressed by his versatility. However, a recruiting colleague shared a similar story with a different outcome. When an executive search firm was filling a senior HR position, they passed on a senior HR executive who had a side career in the visual arts. What impressed me as versatility struck them as lack of commitment. I know many job seekers with diverse experience who are anxious about how to pull it together in a cohesive, compelling personal brand.
If you have been working in several different industries, roles or careers, here are three guidelines.
Find the common thread. One of my clients had worked for several years each in financial services, medical equipment, non-profit, real estate and energy, with roles in sales, marketing and operations. You don’t want to recite a laundry list of everything you do because your audience won’t remember. Instead, find a common thread to build your story around. In my client’s case, all of her accomplishments relate to opening a new market or developing a new product. Her common thread is that she can launch and grow (a value proposition that is easy to remember), and she has done so in diverse industries and roles (the laundry list is now neatly housed under a theme). What is the common thread for the different projects or roles in your background?
Continue reading at Life Reimagined At Work: Capitalize on Your Eclectic Experience.