Personal Brand Book Reviews: Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Paul Copcutt

Wondering if you should read “that” book? A seasoned personal brand strategist offers his in depth reviews.
Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand

by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson

© 2007 Wiley. 224 pages, hardback.

Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand 
by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson

5R Score: 24/35

Main Focus:

  1. Brand yourself for career success
  2. Determine how others perceive you
  3. Develop your unique value proposition
  4. Define your target audience
  5. Tell your brand story
  6. Express yourself clearly and consistently
  7. Build and manage your online identity
  8. Stay on-message and on-brand every day
  9. Increase your “career karma”

Five Key Take Aways (actually 7!)

  1. Sign on.
  2. Establish an account on each of the major sites.
  3. Post something.
  4. Tweet something.
  5. Connect with someone.
  6. Do it yourself.
  7. Do it every day.

On a scale of 1-7

  • Relevance – is it right for personal branding? – 6
  • Resonance – does it make sense to the reader? – 5
  • Relation – is there a connection for everyone? – 5
  • Remarkability – does it stand out, will it get noticed? – 5
  • Real – does the personal brand come through? – 3

Would you pick it up?

It was over 14 years ago this summer that Tom Peters first coined the phrase – “personal branding” in his Fast Company article the “Brand Called You,” which was the catalyst for William Arruda to start Reach Communications, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer.

Personal branding is now firmly established as a viable process and tool to manage your career, assist your job search or help you grow your small business 

The book 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 you need to be quick to get results back and printed in the 15 days that you have access the upgrade cost for an extra 3 days is incredibly reasonable to gain access to a very comprehensive report.


This is certainly a comprehensive personal branding book that address’ how to recognize, define and build your personal brand for career and/or job search success. 


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 (a number of whom are listed in the back of the book). At the time it was written Dixson added to the richness of the book by incorporating her on line brand experience to cover the important area of existing on the web.

However, since it was published the online world has changed significantly and the book would definitely benefit from an update, otherwise there are other resources available that offer more insight in to this specific area.


For the jobseeker, or in most cases the corporate employee, this book addresses their needs very well, but for the entrepreneur there is a lot of content that is not so relevant or requires adaptation.


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 actions that will make them stand out in the job market.


The real personal brands of many client examples and stories all help to get the message across but the authors own personal brands are not evident at all.

Paul Copcutt, Personal Brand Architect, is a sought after speaker and coach who uses real client stories and practical applications to help successful professionals and executives get clear about their uniqueness.


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