Think about some of the top brands in the world: Coca-Cola, BMW, Volvo, and Starbucks. They use branding principles to establish or maintain a presence in the marketplace. Each promises something uniquely appealing to their particular customers. They have a target market and they know what is important to their audience.

The same marketing principles can be applied when searching for an executive-level position. More executives are beginning to understand the value of personal branding in their job seeking efforts. The only difference from corporate branding is the product; the product in searching for an executive position is the individual candidate.

The first step in the personal branding process is to discover what unique talents and core values you can bring to a top-level position to determine specifically what differentiates you from other candidates vying for the same opportunity.

As an executive job search candidate, you should do an honest assessment of your strengths. This selfanalysis is vital, as is pursuing feedback from colleagues, friends and family members. How you view yourself might be quite different than the perception of other people. Listen with an open mind to the feedback, weighing it objectively, focusing on strengths and then making the necessary adjustments to overcome weaknesses.

Next, you need to do research on different companies to investigate the company's core values, what products or services are offered and the target market segment they serve. This information can be found on most company websites in their press release or about us sections. Once you have this information, you are better able to determine what qualities or specific experience you possess that is a good match to a specific company.

The third step in the process is to take this newly gathered information and formulate stories about specific contributions you have made to your current and previous employers which can be used in the interview process. The best method for showcasing your unique promise of value is during an interview, where you can present specific examples of past performance which will truly target the needs of the potential employer.

Today's high-level position job market is competitive. The executive job search candidates that succeed in the interview process truly understand the value they bring to the table and know how to communicate it effectively.