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Define Your Personal Brand and Proceed With Confidence

Define Your Personal Brand and Proceed With Confidence

At the well-attended Ellevate event, “Personal Branding: Your Key to Success,” I was struck by the down-to-earth advice shared by the panel of four women at the top of their game. One of the best things about women is their desire to share their vulnerabilities with other women and these accomplished women did that comfortably and engagingly.

Many of my senior-level female clients feel vulnerable when they come to me, and they frequently lack confidence. Instead of presenting themselves in terms of their prodigious gifts, they tell me about their shortcomings. It’s been said before that a man will go into a job interview ready to convince the employer he can do the job, because he has 80% of the required skills. A woman interviewing for the same job will focus instead on the 20% she lacks. This tendency contributes mightily to the salary disparity between men and women that continues to prevail.

Your personal brand enables you to proceed with confidence in knowing what you offer and who needs it. We have to get the message right before we can work on the medium.

[Related: Spark Your Brand - Discover, Define, Design, and Deliver]

Having a great network and role models is critical, as Alexandra Wilkis Wilson told the group, and New York is the right place to find your “personal board of directors.” Your personal brand needs to communicate to your network, an employer, or others you are trying to convince to engage with you, who you are and what you can do for that audience. 

Many people go through their careers never articulating or leveraging their special talents in a way that resonates with those they wish to influence, which leads to a lack of self-confidence. The way to lose the self-doubt is to know what you have that is desirable and important to your audience so you can convince them to hire you, promote you or help get you into positions of power and influence.

I’ve taught hundreds of people the core skill of defining their personal brand, individually and in a classroom setting. It forms the basis of a resume, LinkedIn profile, elevator pitch and interview strategy. Simply put, you don’t want to seek a career or a job without it.


Allison Cheston is a NYC-based Career Advisor and Millennial Leadership Trainer helping executives and young adults launch, develop and change their careers. For a template of her process in defining your personal brand, email

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


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