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Personal Branding: Key to Future Employment

By Meg Guiseppi

So says the 2010 Kelly Global Workforce Index, which surveyed approximately 134,000 people across 29 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Specifically, Kelly's Executive Vice President and CEO, George Corona, said,

"In taking control of their careers, a strong personal brand becomes critical for individuals in helping to differentiate themselves and gain future employment. Many people are now embracing the idea of operating as 'free agents', and accepting responsibility for managing their own careers and enhancing their marketability."

All respondents to the survey, worldwide, agreed that verbal communication skill is the most important element in defining one's brand, followed by technical knowledge, resumes, written communications, personal attire and social media usage.

More than half surveyed said they were willing to invest in improving their skills.

Two-thirds saw a career change or reinvention in their future. "Not only has the job-for-life disappeared but the career-for-life is going the same way," Kelly's Executive Vice-President and General Manager, Mike Webster, said.

Key findings among North American respondents:

  • 71% of baby boomers cited verbal communication skills among the most important elements in personal branding, compared with Gen X (70%), and Gen Y (67%).
  • 66% of Gen X were prepared to spend their own money on training to upgrade their skills, higher than for baby boomers (60%) and Gen Y (62%).
  • 82% of Gen Y were "very optimistic" about their ability to keep pace with technological and other change in the workplace, higher than for Gen X (75%) and baby boomers (60%).
  • 64% expected to have to change their career at some stage in the future, comprising Gen Y and Gen X (both 65%) and baby boomers (62%).
  • 30% of respondents described themselves as "very active" in their use of social media for personal marketing, while 34% said they are "somewhat active."

Have you embraced personal branding to accelerate your job search?

If you need help defining your brand, go to my 10-Step Personal Branding Worksheet.

About the author...

Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt's Personal Branding Expert and 20+ year careers industry veteran, has earned 10 certifications, including Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Reach Social Branding Analyst – LinkedIn Profile Strategist, and Certified Executive Resume Master. Meg is the author of "23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land." Connect with Meg at for c-suite personal branding and executive job search help and on Twitter (@MegGuiseppi). And, you may also download Meg's free ebook - Job-Hunt Guide to Smart Personal Branding with LinkedIn.