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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Build your personal brand for career distinction, 12 Jun 2007
By 
Krishna De "Bringing YOUR brand to life" (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand (Hardcover)
Yet another book on personal branding you might exclaim. But before you dismiss it, take note especially if you are an individual in an organisation looking to progress your career.

Personal branding is definitely the hot topic of the moment with everyone from coaches to image consultants, from web designers to bloggers talking about how to build your personal brand.

As someone who guides leaders in professional services firms about building their corporate brand, their employer brand and their personal leadership brand to expand their professional and personal success, I would be selective on the books I recommend people read on the subject of personal branding.

So why would I recommend reading "Career Distinction" and what makes "Career Distinction" stand out from the crowd of other personal branding books?

Well firstly it is written by William Arruda who has demonstrated expertise in the field of personal branding over the last 6 years. Not only does he understand marketing having worked as a brand manager he also understands what it takes to manage your career successfully in a corporation.

Through his company, Arruda has trained hundreds of people in corporate America and across the globe about how to build your personal brand.

Secondly this book is aimed at people who are looking to progress their career - if you are a leader of your own business or entrepreneur you will find the book lacking in substance around marketing and business development strategies.

Thirdly, rather than just providing information about the what and the why of personal branding, Arruda, makes it possible for you to work on nurturing your own personal brand as you can access the "Career Distinction" free workbook with exercises to work through.

Having spent almost 20 years in executive positions across the globe, what I was particularly struck by was one very important message in the book.

I have appointed (and dismissed!) many business leaders over my time in my corporate career, but few recognised the key message in "Career Distinction". Progressing in your career is not a start and stop approach - many people update their resume/CV and start networking when they are looking for a new job.

Instead, Arruda talks about considering your career management plan as something you work on continuously.

Co-author Kirsten Dixson brings to the table her experience of helping people build their personal brand online and I was delighted to see the subject of business blogging versus static web profiles to build your personal brand online being covered. However if you do want to build your personal brand online with a business blog or personal blog I would recommend that you also read books such as "Go Blog Wild" by Andy Wibbels which will provide specific guidance on blogging.

In summary, "Career Distinction" is a distinctive book about personal branding if you are looking to progress your career. I would recommend it for people in early career or middle management - there are some other elements I would want to see covered before recommending it to executives.

It would also make a great college graduation gift to help young graduates discover how to nurture their career right from the start.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The personal branding book for career management, 11 Jun 2007
By 
Paul Copcutt "Square Peg - personal brand con... (Dundas, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand (Hardcover)
Its 10 years ago this summer that Tom Peters first coined the phrase - personal branding' in his Fast Company article the Brand Called You -and its been a long time coming - a book that finally takes you through a proven process.

Personal branding is fast becoming THE tool to manage your career, assist your job search or help you grow your small business - this book addresses the first two groups very well, but for the entrepreneur there is a lot of content that is not so relevant or requires adaptation.

Arruda has spent a number of years building this process in to an accepted global standard through his own company and certified personal brand strategists around the world (many of whom are listed in the back of the book). Dixson adds to the richness of the book by incorporating her on line brand experience to cover the increasingly important area of existing on the web.

This is certainly the most up to date and comprehensive personal branding books out there currently, that address' how to recognise, define and build your personal brand for career and/or job search success.

The book also comes with a downloadable workbook with extra exercises and access to the highly popular 360 personal brand assessment - an invaluable opportunity to gather others perceptions of your brand (although be warned you need to be quick to get results back and printed in the 15 days you have access).

All in all a well written and constructed guide for the savvy, self driven professional who is looking to have greater control over their career or looking for some actions that will make them stand out in the job market.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The career management strategy for the 21st Century, 7 Jun 2007
This review is from: Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand (Hardcover)
This book is a great guide to the Reach Personal Branding process of which, I have to admit, I am a real fan. I first came across it at a conference in the States and was a bit sceptical but curious. I signed up to learn how to use the process and am now totally hooked. Having worked in the careers field in the UK for over 25 years (helping individual clients, teaching careers courses and publishing careers materials myself) I have to say that the Reach Personal Branding process is the best, new approach to career planning and management that I have come across in years. Why? Because it gives you a tried and tested recipe to follow to identify and find careers which will be truly meaningful for you (and will resonate with you at a deep personal level). It also shows you how to focus on the right audience for you and your talents and how to develop and manage your brand, brand identity and brand environment (paying particular attention to your all important, online identity). It's a process which works equally well for job hunters, job changers and self employed or small business owners. It is definitely the career management strategy for the 21st Century. This book could seriously change the way you think about careers in general and your career in particular. I strongly recommend it.

Jackie Hartley - Highflyers Publishing Ltd
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lifelong learning, 4 Dec 2008
By 
O. Calderon "MBA Mannheim Olivia" (Mannheim, Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand (Hardcover)
As many MBA graduates, I found the task of standing out from thousands of online job applications a challenging task. After reading this book, I learnt this process was much more than just sending generic cover letters and resumes but much more of a personal discovery process. I have learnt so much about myself these days than just this learning already payed off what I invested on the book. I totally recommend for personal and professional growth.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you buy one career development book this year..., 9 Jun 2007
This review is from: Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand (Hardcover)
...this is the one to buy!

William and Kirsten make such a strong case for why we all need to look after our personal brand - changes in technology, changes in the world of work, changes in what people want out of their career - that you'll wonder how you made it as far as you have without thinking about it!

Building on the personal experiences of their own clients and those of other certified brand strategists they guide the reader step-by-step through the Reach personal branding process, with clear examples of the career-building tools you need to be putting out there so people know who you are and why they should hire/promote/retain you.

Part coaching, part self discovery, part self-promotions, it can be a dizzying ride at times: there's a lot of introspection and the book comes with a free 360-degree feedback exercise to push your search outside yourself. Anyone who has gone through a corporate 360 assessment will have a very distorted view of this: don't let your fears get the better of you, the Reach 360 is a much gentler - and ultimately more empowering - process.

Kirsten herself is a guru on branding yourself online, and her influence is nowhere stronger than in the chapters about evaluating your online brand, and what to do if it's not everything you'd want it to be.

I'm a huge fan of the Reach process - I'm a Reach certified Brand Strategist myself - but even if I was new to the field I would find the book fascinating and put myself through the process.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Show the world what you are made of, 18 Jun 2008
This review is from: Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand (Hardcover)
My name is Gary Shane McGill and I have been involved in marketing in some shape or form most of my adult career. I have marketed quite successfully third party products my whole life, so I have sometimes felt not as well known in the industry as I should give myself credit for, which is why when I saw Career Distinction I leaped at the opportunity to buy this book.

I have traditionally been a very modest person by staying respectfully in the background, but then you promote someone else's personal brand equity by doing that, which is why (when it is appropriate) you need to start taking some credit. You have got to build your personal brand equity to give yourself a value-added appeal, which is what this book guides you towards so nicely, since knowing where to start is not quite as simple as it may seem.

The time and effort that you devote to your career deserves some kind of recognition because it is time to get past those barriers to entry by getting your brand out there. This book will help you sort out your personal brand equity because there is value-added opportunity to be made by developing any brand. In this era of global communications and globalization buy the book before you miss the boat.
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Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand
Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand by Kirsten Dixson (Hardcover - 12 Jun 2007)
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