Personal Branding 101: How to Build and Use It for Your Career

Not just a buzz-word used by marketing professionals to wow their target audience, ‘branding’ and in particular your own ‘personal brand’ is the perfect way to differentiate yourself when you are up against competition.

Here are seven ways to cultivate and build your personal brand for success and longevity in your career.

 

Define your personal brand

The first step is to decide on how you would like people to perceive you. Just as businesses strive to offer unique products to consumers, you should too. Brainstorm five words which you would like your colleagues to describe you as. With these five words, list measurable career goals over the next five years. This will give you something to work on as well as help you measure how successful your personal branding efforts are.

Google yourself

Searching online is the most obvious way to get visibility over how potential employers view your credibility. Be sure to delete or make private anything that could be damaging to your job prospects. Be ruthless – keep only things that show you in a positive light.

Build your online profile

The next step is to cultivate a strong online presence. Social media is of course the easiest way to begin building your personal brand online.

Getting your resume found online

Social media is a good place to start, but don’t fall into the trap of just relying on Instagram and Twitter to be found. While it might be a prerequisite for millennials to be on Facebook, never assume that all hiring managers will be on these same mediums. One of the best things you could do is to upload your resume on various job boards, where hiring managers often visit. Another way is to host your resume on a personal website. Include links to any digital evidence of achievements – anything that supports and shows your professional experience and skill set.

Take a look in the mirror

Promoting your online brand is important, but there is nothing worse for a hiring manager when they interview someone whose offline identity looks nothing like online. Take a look at your personal appearance – does your clothing matches the role you are going for?

Align yourself with a specialist recruiter within industry

Develop a long-term partnership with a specialist recruitment provider means that you will get all the benefits of someone who knows your industry inside and out as well as access to exclusive roles which have not been posted on job boards.

Continuous improvement

Building your personal brand is not a one-off project. People who have the best personal brands often work continuously to improve, promote and boost their brand reach. Take on additional trainings, ask for recommendations, accept referrals, and participate in any events that could widen your network reach.

 

Don’t forget how important it is for you to have accomplished something yourself. Never forget – people connect with other people. If you don’t appear to be a real person, how likely will others trust you?

Be open about your shortcomings and weaknesses. This will make you all the more human and relatable. As you begin to sharpen your personal brand, the right opportunities will start coming your way.

 

Source: GettyImages (image)