Even if you’re not hugely familiar with the term ‘personal branding’, you’re probably more engaged with it than you think!
Personal branding basically refers to who you are and how you’re perceived. In essence, it’s what is conveyed through your resume, social media channels and any other public presence you may have in the world. In this day and age it can be very useful to have an optimised personal brand. And, employers will love you for it!
A personal brand is both actively and passively created and controlled, and this can make it seem like it’s mostly out of your hands. In reality, you do have a large amount of control over your personal brand.
When it comes to applying for jobs, there are some good reasons why you should put an effort into creating a strong personal brand:
- For starters, you’ll stand out from the crowd – employers will be able to identify you, your skills, career goals, mindset and values much quicker.
- It’s appealing for an employer to hire someone with a strong personal brand because they then become part of your brand – so it’s a win-win situation.
- It helps employers verify your claims. For example, if you say you’re a skilled article writer, and your Twitter profile includes a link to a site you wrote articles for, employers can see your writing for themselves and personally judge your skills.
Creating an effective personal brand isn’t the easiest thing in the world do – thought and effort is required. But, it’s definitely a lot easier if you go about it the right way.
10 things to remember when building your personal brand
- Know how you want to ‘market’ yourself from the start. It will be a lot less work than if you’re constantly changing and re-evaluating your brand.
- Make sure your message is specific, consistent and genuine.
- All your publicly-viewable social media forms part of your personal brand, whether you want it to or not.
- Everyone wants to be ‘the next Elon Musk’ or ‘the next Bill Gates’. Why be the ‘next’ anyone when you can be the first you!
- It’s not bragging if you really can do it.
- What you do contributes to your personal brand as much as what you say.
- Your goals form a part of your brand. Elon Musk wants to get to Mars. We all know it – it’s a big part of his personal brand.
- The people you work with influence your personal brand. For example, in a band, each member’s personal brand is influenced by the other members. If one of them is a wild party animal, that will rub off onto the ‘brand’ of the band.
- Ensure your personal branding efforts don’t cross the line into self-promotion, because that can be a big turn-off to people.
- It takes time to build up a personal brand.
The benefits of a strong personal brand are also highly relevant if you plan to start your own business. You could take the principles mentioned here and apply them to your marketing plan.
If you want to know more about personal branding, there’s a virtual workshop being offered on this very topic as part of Graduate Gateway 2020. You can register for the event right here.
For more ideas on building a strong personal brand, attend one or more of our upcoming online Graduate Gateway workshops. There’s one specifically on personal branding happening on Monday 7 December, while Networking and LinkedIn are covered on Wednesday 9 December.