Personal branding can make a huge difference in how employers view you as a job prospect. People are ready to polish a pair of shoes as they prepare for job interviews, but sometimes neglect to polish their public image first. The idea of building your personal brand might sound self-centered, but that focus on your unique strengths is what can bring you to the highest level of success.
One of the best ways to move ahead and grow to the next level of professional development is personal branding. Why is it is worth caring about one’s personal brand? To understand this, consider yourself as a consumer product. You want the customer to believe in advertisements they see about you and then trust the product. The same goes for your potential employers.
Numerous ways of selling yourself to an organization are available: your resume, a professional job letter application and your personal brand. Your resume and your job letter should be formatted in ways that clearly reflect your brand.
Here are some steps you can start taking today toward branding the assets that make you stand out among your peers.
Your personal brand is your public image.
Building Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand and reputation will become your stepping stone to any next move that you make in your career. Start building from a strong foundation. First, think about what makes you unique and different. What are your strengths and goals, the things you most want an employer to know about you? Your personal brand includes everything about you, your passions, your way of thinking and your beliefs. These are the ingredients that build a successful brand, the most marketable “you.”
Connect the Dots Forward
Steve Jobs in a speech once said that you can only connect the dots looking backwards and believing that the dots will lead to a stable future ahead. In personal branding sometimes you can try to connect the dots forward, as difficult as it might seem. Here are some ways you can simplify it:
- Keep relationships strong. Your career is not always about what you know, but often it can be about who you know
- Try keeping relationships with industry connections positive. You never know when those contacts can be beneficial (or you can help them as well)
- Acknowledge every aspect of your professional life
- Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can that make sense
Remember, as you continue to make professional contacts, the process of making more connections can make it easier for you to define what you need to do for the future.
Think about How You Want to be Known
Your personal brand is not only talking about your assets but also thinking what you want to be known for. It sums up what you want people to remember about you. In any job, if you belong to a particular industry, your expertise and knowledge can get you more interviews. Also, you can concentrate on one skill and excel in it. For example, you could be the “Photoshop Guru” or the “WordPress Wizard.” You should aim to become the only go-to in your field.
Never post anything that could harm your professional or personal brand.
Use Social Media
Your personal brand should definitely reflect on your resume, cover letter or any other job application format you are using to apply to a job. Also, your online presence should make a difference professionally. Today, your social media presence and involvement speak a lot about your professionalism and career moves.
Make sure that you never post anything that could harm your professional or personal brand.
Branding Is About Progression
You might not be perfect today. Neither is your personal brand. It is a process. Building your brand is more about progression. To be successful you need to sweep imperfections under the rug and bring the polished stuff out.
Your Personal Brand as Your Resume
When you quit your job, your personal brand remains. When you switch jobs, your personal brand goes with you. When you become an entrepreneur, your personal brand helps define you. Your brand will be the bridge that enables a lot of future opportunities as long as you keep nurturing it.
When Should You Start Working on Your Brand?
Just remember, branding yourself is just not about your assets but to be known as something, defining who you are in your professional career. Your personal brand is your public image, the polish that reflects the unique value and vision you offer an employer that no one else can.