Tell Me About Yourself | Personal Branding 101


“Tell me about yourself” is a question many interviewers use to open up dialogue with a job candidate at the start of an interview.  The answer to this question can set the tone for the rest of the interview.  In order to make a positive impression on the employer and communicate your personal brand, it’s important to take advantage of this question to sell yourself in a way that quickly conveys your strengths, gives the interviewer an insight to your professional history, and convinces them that you’re the best person for the job. In other words, it’s the perfect opportunity for an elevator pitch.  Here are a few tips to help you develop a memorable personal branding statement that keeps your listener interested.

Define your messaging.
Before you can develop your personal brand, you need to take a few minutes to consider what you want your brand to represent.  What are you great at and passionate about?  What business attributes do people recognize you for?  Make a list of your strong points and then narrow it down to one or two attributes that you want to be known for.  Start off your personal brand statement by talking about the attributes that define who you are as a professional.  For example, “I am a confident, detail-oriented, welding professional.” An employer wants to know these qualities, not a summary of your personal life.

Discuss your value.
One element of your personal brand should address the following questions:

  • Why should I care?
  • What’s in it for me?

The interviewer doesn’t care about reverse chronological list of your past job experience; they want to know what value you can offer them.  Be sure you focus your message on the employer’s needs.  For example, a good candidate might say, “I am a civil engineer with 10 years of experience managing CAD designs for various companies.”  However, a great answer would be, “I am an experienced civil engineering professional with a strong track record in construction design through CAD programming to help clients make efficient and cost effective building decisions. “ Using benefit-focused language will help convince the interviewer that you are business savvy, and have the skills needed to do the job at their organization.  Figure out what about your work is most important to the interviewer, and sell it to them.

Formulate your unique selling points.
The experience on your resume is likely similar to the other candidates applying for the position.  Therefore, you need to proposition yourself in a way that sets you apart from the other applicants.  Provide a brief anecdote that indicates how you’ve accomplished your goals.  Use visual language, be witty, and be passionate.  Like all great brands, you should have a story that differentiates you from your competitors.  Stories are often what people remember the most and the best way to engage a listener.

Practice, practice, practice.
Once you’ve developed your elevator pitch, it is essential to practice it.  Say your speech in front of the mirror, record it on your computer and play it back to yourself. Practice it for a friend or family member. It will sound awkward at first, but the more you practice, the more natural your delivery will become. Make small tweaks to your pitch as needed so it doesn’t sound rehearsed.  Prepare a few variations that are easily targeted to a specific job opportunity.

Make your personal branding statement a part of your online job profiles and place it at the top of your resume.  If you spend time discovering your personal brand, you’ll embrace the things that make you unique and set you apart from your peers.

Put your elevator pitch into practice by calling on the experienced Baltimore recruiters at RealStreet Staffing to help fast track your job search.  As a leading staffing and recruiting agency, RealStreet matches experienced construction professionals with rewarding career opportunities in the Federal, architectural, engineering and construction communities. Contact us today to start laying the foundation for a better career.


I have worked with RealStreet for the past five years to provide supplemental staffing for two federal government contracts. It has been a great partnership. I find RealStreet to be attentive and responsive to our needs, reliable, and they consistently find great people that fit what we need for multiple roles on two different programs.

Kevin T. Fitzpatrick, PMP, Peer Review Program Manager

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