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Avoid attempting to be all things to all people

stand outThe other day I was helping a young lawyer with her search for a job after she was made redundant in a large City firm. As we reviewed her resume, I quickly realised that she was trying to sell herself as a "jack-of-all trades". Now this approach, especially in today’s economy, may feel like the safest route - an attempt to avoid missing out on any opportunity. But as I explained to this young lawyer, trying to be all things to all people can actually hurt you.

If you try to sell yourself in this way, you risk looking as though you actually know very little - i.e. by spending your time learning about everything, you haven’t focused on becoming really accomplished at any of it.

When you explain exactly what you are good at - and admit what you don’t know - people can be confidant that you will in fact prove yourself and meet their expectations in the area that you demonstrate mastery.

And the more you can build upon that specific expertise, showing your consistent interest, skill and passion, the more authentic you will be... and in the process you will succeed in that elusive and lucrative goal: creating a personal brand.

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