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on May 30, 2007
I've been contemplating switching jobs and industries. A friend recommended this book to me and I just finished it. This book will change the way you think about yourself and how to approach your career. In a world where employers can "google" any prospect, everyone needs to think about their career identity as they climb the corporate ladder. This book allows you to create and control your business identity and will teach you how to : brand yourself, build your online business identity; create your own story and goals. A must read for anyone looking for a new job-- or improving the way their current employer views them.
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on April 19, 2010
This book was very informative and helped me shift from my last "job title" to a more deeper understanding of my unique value to an organization. This knowledge about myself improved with each chapter. You can download a free workbook which serves as a great self-coaching tool with well-designed written exercises. I completed this workbook and appreciated having this as I read the book. The book is well organized and easy to follow. The 360 tool is a nice offer..very interesting activity to discover how other people view your talents and attributes. I used to do similiar 360 processes when I coached senior managers. However, I wasen't able to get it done in the 15 day time limit. You can retake for a minimal fee of $15...You can also conduct an informal "360" of your attributes by asking friends and colleagues. The three "C's" clarity,consistency, and constancy are what you need to be when you "show up" to your target audience or customer. These concepts are reinforced throughout the book and are very useful when you are designing your business cards, networking, or preparing for a job interview. I recommend all job seekers to design their personal branding as they prepare to compete in this very
tough job market.
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on June 3, 2007
This is a must read book for all executives! Personal branding takes executives to a higher level where they are projecting an authentic, unique, compelling brand that sets them apart from the competition.

As an executive coach, I use Career Distinction's fabulous branding process of Extract (chapters 4-7), Express (chapters 8-11) and Exude (chapters 12-14) with all of my clients.

Here's what Carlos, one of my executive clients in Minneapolis, MN says about his experience with Career Distinction's 3-step branding process: "I have a much clearer view of what I do, how I do it, and why it works for me. Instead of just being successful professionally and making money, I have a much better understanding of how to attain fulfillment, happiness, and balance. Today my work is still a fundamental part of my life but is no longer the center of my life. My branding statement is: `A passionate, multicultural, and enterprising leader who recognizes and seizes opportunities, exhibits savvy in relating to others, and achieves dramatic results by orchestrating, negotiating, and closing win-win deals.' And, my tagline is `Strategy-Orchestration-Negotiation.'"
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VINE VOICEon October 9, 2014
When we speak on the phone, talk to a person at the office, send an email, or even walk outside your home you project the type of person you are. What you are saying either positively or negatively to the world will leave that person with an everlasting impression, what does that say about you? You have but a few seconds to make hit the mark and you have to set your objective to make sure the communication coming from you to everyone else is what you want to be perceived as in a positive manner. You need to make sure your sense of self confidence comes through, a winning attitude, and reinforce your strength which empowers you and others.

How do you make sure you are doing all the right things, look deep inside yourself and write a list of what makes you the strong, vibrant individual you are and develop your own brand of self. You are the best you anyone could be so make sure you are conveying that with strength to solve problems, opportunities to be part of a team, communicate as well as you listen, consistently display how invaluable you are to your employer.

Design a website that highlights your achievements talking about your empowered state of mind, start a blog that makes your digital presence known without involving yourself in drama, understand your work environment is a display of your personality, and always dress for success. Make others notice you by creating a mission statement that sums of your positive believes and can do attitude, everyone should notice the good around you.

Want to be a great person embrace your mistakes, want to be a thoughtful human being celebrate your little victories, want to get noticed by others look inside and make sure all your great attributes are on display every day.
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on March 7, 2016
Considering the possibility of changing jobs or just wanting to put more emphasis on the current one, this book - along with the workbook available free of charge [...]- helps to think of YOU as a "brand" and how to tackle more effectively your professional career.

In a world where YOU can be "Googled", you need to think about your brand identity, how you are perceived on the net.

This book helps you to create or enhance your brand identity, teaching how to:
- create your own brand;
- build your own online identity;
- create your own story;
- identify your career goals.

A must read for anyone looking for a new job or wanting to improve the way the current employer sees her/him.
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on June 22, 2007
Career Distinction is really the bible of career branding for today's increasingly portable worker. I love the focus on proactivity -- and the step-by-step instructions on how to build a brand presence in one's niche (and how to niche!) Understanding and leveraging personal branding and value is going to be the difference between panic and power in today's job market -- where stability is gone and we're more likely to become serial freelancers than long-term hires. And heck, it lets us have more fun at work because the clarity of branding gives us a great shot at getting hired to do what we love to do, with people we love to do it with. Not bad!
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Arruda and Dixson's book, Career Distinction, is a comprehensive look at the personal branding process, from uncovering your unique promise of value, to expressing your brand in all of your communications and social media, to managing your "brand environment" in all that you do.

According to the authors, uncovering your unique promise value involves an extensive self-exploration process, drawing upon your own insights, as well as those of others. It starts with the identification and articulation of your unique vision and purpose, goals, values, and passions. From there, the authors provide a 15-day password for you to use a 360-degree feedback assessment, the 360◦Reach (available at [...] to obtain honest feedback about your brand attributes and strengths.

Then, it is important to define your "brand community," or your target audience. This community includes those who are most critical to your ability to advance in your career: Those who work for you, your peers, your boss, your customers and business partners, your friends and family, and your competitors.

Arruda and Dixson guide you in the development of a personal branding statement and brand profile, and in the use of these in the development of your career marketing tools, other essential marketing communications, and your online identity. Finally, they provide valuable insights and ideas for managing your brand environment by being "on-brand" in all that you do - from your personal appearance to your office and business tools, your brand identity system, and your personal network.

Career Distinction is an indispensable tool for anyone seeking to advance in their career, build credibility and visibility, and succeed in today's competitive and ever-changing employment marketplace.
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on April 1, 2009
Quick, name the most important brand in the world.

Now imagine you are solely in charge of managing everything about that brand -- from marketing brand value and story to managing public perception and identity. Get it wrong and your brand suffers. Build and manage it correctly and you win.

Whatever your response was to the above question, unless you've read the book (read on), odds are you were probably thinking of a corporate brand. Possibly the brand you currently work for or some multi-national, mega-corp perhaps. Maybe a soft-drink company, fast food chain or computer giant entered your head when you read through the question.

Think closer to home.

The most important brand in the world of course is (insert your name here). "You" are the most important brand out there and that is precisely why you would read Career Distinction by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson.

"One thing that links the most successful professionals at all levels is that they take a proactive approach to managing their careers. People who are ahead of the game don't wait for a career emergency to activate their network or update their resume. As Arruda and Dixson explain, you have to make career management a habit." ~ Martin Yate, Author of Knock `em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide

The book takes the reader through a three-step process to evaluate and take control of his/her personal brand, both online and off.

STEP ONE: EXTRACT -- UNEARTH YOUR UNIQUE PROMISE OF VALUE

During this section, the reader goes through extensive, but easy to accomplish exercises that are designed to figure out what his/her current brand looks like and what his/her current strengths and weaknesses are.

It's easy to fool ourselves during these types of self-evaluating exercises to arrive on paper who we want to be or who we think we are, thus rendering the entire exercise useless in any real-world self-extracting process. The Career Distinction book along with the accompanying workbook and Web site knows this -- so the authors have set up an automated system for you to get real-world feedback from your friends, family, peers, colleagues, etc. In conjunction with the Web site, part of the exercise is to send via e-mail an evaluation allowing your peer group to anonymously rate, describe and evaluate you as a brand.

The Career Distinction site houses and tabulates all of the returned data from your peer group and it allows you to get an accurate assessment of the brand you are giving off as apposed to the brand image you want to be giving off. This extraction process is worth the cost of the book alone.

STEP TWO: EXPRESS -- COMMUNICATE YOUR BRAND TO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

Now that the book has carefully walked you through the process of discovering the brand you want to be known as and the brand you have been giving off to others (this can be the same image or surprisingly different), it is now time to express the on-brand image you will be in control of going forward. Is the world ready for your new brand?

In this stage the authors help you to build your offline marketing tools (resume, cover letters, printed bios, etc.) Keeping everything on-brand is now easier, manageable, and in focus thanks to the extract process in earlier chapters.

If you didn't already realize how seriously important your online brand is already, you will by chapter 10 and 11. Enough to make you regret any drunken college pictures you have floating around online. No worries though. By then end of step two (Express) you will have both your offline and online branding strategies in place and on-message. Hopefully you won't have too much repair work to do from past "digital dirt" as the book calls it.

With a firm understanding of your brand, your target audience and a strategy to reach your audience, all that is left is the final step.

STEP THREE: EXUDE -- MANAGE YOUR BRAND ENVIRONMENT

Step three is by far the most common sense of the three steps and should be a quick read. There is nothing to figure out or evaluate here -- all of the heavy-lifting has been done already. Step three is in place to hammer home the concepts of staying on message and delivering your brand in everything you do.

There is also a chapter on creating a "visual identity" (which I didn't find that helpful) and finally the book wraps up with a lite chapter on professional networking and building what the authors call good "career karma."

Career karma, in terms of professional networking, is the act of giving out more than what you take in the line of helping others professionally. The book is absolutely correct in the fact that if all you worry about is giving to others, you will eventually end up with far more in return than if you were to keep score and always be looking to take professionally from others.

And that's it in a nutshell. Published in 2007 originally, the book hadn't made it across my desk until a few months ago. If you haven't heard of it and you are at all concerned about building and maintaining a personal brand for career management sake, Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand is a must read. Find one used on Amazon and the knowledge it brings to you over the life of your career will pay for itself thousands of time over.
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VINE VOICEon September 16, 2007
This book does not emphasize climbing the corporate ladder. Instead, it focuses on increasing one's chance of getting that dream job by improving one's personal brand (mostly through better resume, cover letters, and networking).

Although this book would be a good job search book, that is not what this book is branded as. It is branded as a book which allows you to "stand out" by building an effective personal brand. This seemed like climbing the corporate ladder to me. I didn't realize this meant writing an effective resume, cover letter, and building a more effective network.

The authors digresses for a chapter or two into the subject of life coaching. They have generic advices such as understanding one's passion...how boring... It is almost as if they ran out of things to write about.

If you are interested in a job search, this book should be helpful. If you want to improve your corporate personal brand to climb the corporate ladder, look elsewhere.
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on June 29, 2014
I have used "Career Distinction" and the workbook as an incredible tool to take all of my leadership and career coaching clients through their " career discovery journey", uncovering their reputation. It's outstanding for getting clarity on how to articulate your brand and applying it to social media, resumes, LinkedIn, and increasing your effectiveness communicating your strengths.
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