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'Fall in Love': The Beauty & Simplicity of a Great Career Brand

You can imagine a great career brand, rising like a rocket toward space, so high it’s about to breach the atmosphere! But, how do you get that kind of background, and how do you turn it into solid career branding for yourself?

Fall in Love, and Develop a Laser Focused Background

The simplest way is by developing a laser focus to your career trajectory. That means discovering your passion very early in your career, so that you can join the right industry, and more importantly, the right companies to get to your goal.

I was having a deep conversation with a client recently and heard a great piece of advice their father had given them many years ago, as they were just getting out of school and readying their entry to the workforce.


“Simply find your passion, something you can be passionate about, and something you can become an expert at. Always be ‘learning’ or ‘earning’, and if you can find a path where you’re doing both, that’s success.”


It’s one thing to have a passion, another thing to be in love.

In this individual’s case, that passion came to light through happenstance and had nothing to do with what they had studied in their college years. But that passion lit become a love that spread like a wildfire. The discovery you go through in your career when you love what you're involved in is quite different than when you lament going to work every single day.

So, my first recommendation is to take deep consideration of that old adage, “If you find something you're passionate about, you'll never work a day in your life.”

This individual didn't plan and plot every single role in their career, or even who they should work for at an early stage. But, with true passion, it's like placing yourself centerstage within the spotlight. It wasn't long before a mover and shaker in their industry spotted the sparkle reflected from that spotlight and recruited them right into their company.

The great career trajectory has continued with no end in sight. In our discussions, I happened to ask about plans for post-career, which is still years in the future… And the reaction was simply, “Why would I ever retire from something I love to do so much?”


You should love what you do.


We all need a paycheck, and that cash flow to pay for the things in life. But, if you take that job just for those items, your compensation overall will be commensurate with what you put into it.

Do something you're passionate about and put your heart and soul into it, and it changes everything. Get to a very different level. That's how you build a great career brand and trajectory with a laser focus.

What about a Background that's more of a Buffet?

Sometimes it seems you might never develop that great career brand if you don't figure out what you’d like to do early.

Yes, there are significant advantages to discovering your passions early in life. But, you can also discover a number of passions throughout the journey of our career, even when that career ventures into several industries.


The secret is to take your personal passion and drive into every single role.


There's drudgery in almost every role, in every industry, to some degree. But there are also wonderful things that drive us and light our internal passions in each of those roles as well.

Find your passion in the role and don't let yourself be limited by an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of job description. In my view that job description is simply a starter idea for this role. They've hired me for my brain and my abilities, and probably even for little of the magic that they hope I'll deliver.


So, add another thing to your plate. Take on another responsibility. Solve another challenge, and do something special with every role in your career.


That's another way to develop a great career brand.

Telling Your Career Story

Great career branding is not only about delivering in your career, but it's also about the best storytelling of that delivery.

There's no sin of omission here, only sin of commission. You can leave out all the dull stuff and all the parts that you'd rather not talk about. But, every single piece that is in your story has to be true without exception.

I have a very long-term client that I've worked with for quite a number of years. Early in their life, really just out of school, they imagined what they'd love to be someday in their field. I thought it was a terrific goal for this individual who worked in creative.

As a recruiter or should I say former recruiter, who has placed creative in the past, there are really two types of individuals in the field. Those with all the right credentialing and training. And those with all the right credentialing and training that have talent.


You can't develop talent, though you can further talent that you may have, but that's different.


It is something you can't invent. You can develop skills. You can develop expertise. You can develop wisdom and perspective. You can develop social skills and interpersonal skills.

My client was blessed in having outstanding credentials and training, and also having a touch of magical talent. So, I could certainly see them rising to their career dream that we were discussing so early in their journey. It was a conversation that included, “What would the ‘very best’ person in that role have in their background?”

Then, it was as a simple as going and getting those pieces, and developing that experience.

My client today seems to remember very little of this discussion, but it's crystal clear in my mind, maybe because I'm their coach. They have managed to move from one absolutely stunning employer, to the next absolutely stunning employer, to the next absolutely stunning employer. And not just in the same industry.

In our discussion we had imagined what the ‘very best’ person would have in their background that would make them so well-rounded that they could take that top crown in their field.

This client systematically went after and built each part of that background, building on each as they were learning.

Today, with the crown upon their head, it seems like it just happened for them. But I can tell you the reality having witnessed the entire journey.


They kissed many many frogs along the way, looking for that prince or princess organization that could add just the right piece to their background.


Now, people gasp when they pick up this individual’s résumé, “They've all hired you?”

A list of stunning employers across different industries is quite shocking and unusual to see on a single résumé. As you might guess with that kind of background, my client can deal themselves into almost any interview discussion they would like. It does not mean they get every offer that they are after. But, if you don't get in the conversation, you'll never win the race.

Along the way there were a couple disappointing misses where they didn't get the offer.

Someone with a little bit of 'smoke and mirrors' seemed to capture the day and the attention, only to later disappoint the companies that hired them. Those are learning processes and experiences too that will help you. Each opened up an unexpected door that was even more dazzling than if they had landed at the original target employer.

Surf the Wave

Your journey in your career is not unlike being a great surfer tackling an immense series of waves. The average individual might be too fearful to get out there in that water. But, those that develop the skill, the passion and the drive are rarely afraid to see where it'll take them.


These are two pathways to develop the background for a great career story, but you also have to capture the essence and value of that journey on both your résumé and your LinkedIn profile.


To me, these two marketing documents about you are polar opposites to one another.

A résumé, in my view, is a single sheet of paper with all the best highlights about your career. It should dazzle them. It should make them call out to, “Get this individual on the phone, to get them in here for an interview!” That's the right reaction to a résumé.

The polar opposite of that is to take the structural backbone, the skeletal system of storytelling about your career on the résumé and transform it on your LinkedIn profile into a 3-dimensional sales brochure, all about you, that naturally drives the reader to a singular conclusion:


“If I hire this person for my team, or to take on this challenge, it'll be the best business decision I'll make today.”


If you need help creating a dazzling résumé or LinkedIn that showcases your career branding, I think you know where you can find me.

Need more help & Advice? Reach out today–


John Crant

Author, Career Coach & Speaker on Job Search and Career Management

Featured Speaker for

The New York Public Library's JOB SEARCH CENTRAL


In the Media: As Seen As Featured in 

amNY, Time Out New York, The Wall Street Journal (and its, CRAIN'S New York BusinessForbes, CNNBBC, FOX News (on Social Media Marketing), AriseTV, New York PostThe Huffington PostEssence magazine, CareerBuilder and The Ladders

On the Radio: As Guest: WHCR 90.3 FM "The Voice of Harlem"


As an industry manager, executive recruiter, recruiting & sales trainer, event speaker, and as VP of a nationwide system of recruitment offices, I have seen most every aspect of the hiring process and this varied insight is what provides the clarity you will find in this book.


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