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How to Use Personal Branding for a Competitive Edge

by Cecile Peterkin

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Published on this site: August 14th, 2009 - See more articles from this month

Before you can learn much about how to use personal branding for a competitive edge, it's important to have an understanding of what personal branding is. Fortunately, it's possible to take a look at the way many successful people have used personal branding to get a feel for what it is and how it can work for you.

Personal branding is something that has been done by a number of well known people. Some of the most well known among them are:

  1. Oprah Winfrey

    Think what you will about Oprah's personality, but from the time that she branded her show with her own name and aired a number of her personal struggles in a public way to the time that she launched her magazine, her book club and the talk show careers of Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray, Oprah has remained true to her personal brand.

  2. Donald Trump
    Donald Trump isn't just a real estate mogul, he's also a man who worked hard, made his way to the top and then, time and time again, has found ways of staying there. Trump hotels have a certain reputation; so do his investment strategies that are available to almost everyone who watches his infomercials and has an internet connection, and, of course, The Apprentice also has a large audience simply because of all that the man has done to establish his personal brand.

In addition to Oprah and 'The Donald', there are a variety of others who have built their identities and empires on a foundation of personal branding. From Madonna to Bill Gates, from Rachael Ray (who established her brand by promising to teach others to prepare meals in 30 minutes and helping everyone to recognize that cooking is something that everyone can do) to Richard Branson, personal branding has proven to be a successful strategy - one that can also help you to get a competitive edge during your job search.

The reason that personal branding is so valuable is that it demands self-awareness; in order to have a brand, you need to be sure that you are able to know who you are and what you believe in. Likewise, personal branding means knowing what you value and making a commitment to bring it into everything that you do. Most importantly however, personal branding is about having the courage to be yourself - and to let others know who you are - and the confidence to believe that you can have a positive impact.

Personal branding is something that will give you a competitive edge during your job search because it will help you to appear confident and strong; it also is effective because prospective employers will see that you are committed to achieving your best and delivering consistent results. When you take advantage of personal branding and have the strength to market yourself and your values, you will find that you are able to have more than just a job - you'll find that you are well on your way to creating an exceptional career and reaching your goals.

Cecile Peterkin is a Certified Career Coach, Corporate Mentor, Author and Speaker. In a world where the old definition of job security no longer applies, managing your career, just like managing your life, requires preparation and planning. Cecile's Elite Career Success Guide gives you tips, advice and strategies to achieve amazing results in your career. Find out more at

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