A personal brand is what others perceive; that’s why tech candidates should spend so much time tailoring their résumés, cover letters, and other communications.
No matter how expertly you craft your skills and experience, though, there’s always the question of whether you’re actually projecting the right image. After each job interview, you could always ask the hiring manager or interviewer how you did, and potentially get some valuable feedback that way—if they feel like sharing, that is. There’s also the option of asking friends and family to look over your materials and evaluate your image, although they might prove a bit biased.
A better option is to create your own “review committee.” Members can include former bosses and colleagues, vendors, and anyone else who knows you in a professional context. If they’re amenable, show them your materials and explain what exactly you’re attempting to convey about your branding. Here are some areas worth a deeper drill-down:
- Consistency: Do your listed accomplishments and abilities create a seamless, coherent picture of you as a skilled tech professional?
- Relevancy: Are your skills and experience relevant to the career you’re trying to develop?
- Trouble Spots: Is there anything in your background that jumps out as problematic?
Your committee can alert you to any “blind spots” that you need to address before making a big career move. Reward anyone who helps by taking them out to lunch or coffee, in addition to sending a thank-you note.