Don’t be a sheep. And don’t listen to advice that ends you up churning out soulless clichés and flat platitudes. Leave that to your competition. Be head and shoulders above them.
Audiences are generally selfish. They are greedy. They don’t care about your flaws or your fears; they want your message. They filter through the chaff. They make meaning in their heads where you stumble or miss.
Likewise, interviewers are generally bored. They are tired. Imagine asking ten people the same questions while feigning an interested smile. They don’t care about the context behind your promotion or why your company merged; they want your key message. They want a piece of you. They want to tick boxes in their head.
Personal branding is an exercise in making yourself distinct and memorable in the mind of the other. It includes a gamut of things from engaging and building rapport, to how you appear and act, to the zeal for life in your eyes, to what you namedrop as associations, to your unique combos of experience, to colourful glimpses of formative narrative without the ‘yawn’. It includes having an honest mission and letting it drive you.
Like any brand in any marketplace, it is about differentiating yourself from the flock.