In the competitive job market, it’s important to get your personal brand right. So what is it? Simply, your personal brand is your professional reputation with which you market yourself. Here’s 9 ways to getting it right.
- Passions and goals: Take time and think about your passions. Set some career goals and start to form an idea on how to attain them.
- Personal marketing materials: Hone your CV (make sure the language is professional and the grammar and spelling is correct – check out our blog on CV vocabulary), create a cover letter template for your industry and tailor each cover letter to the job you are applying for and get some business cards.
- Social Media: Think of some key words to describe yourself and form them into strap lines. Add them to the personal bios of your social media accounts. Make sure all your social media is up to date and consistent in its message about you. Think about getting a website or blog to maximise your social media presence.
- Hobbies: What do your hobbies say about you? Running or doing sports tells your employer that you have a healthy outlook physically and mentally. Taking art classes tells and employer you are creative. Be aware of the messages you send about yourself.
- In the eye of the beholder: with personal branding your appearance is a big statement. Think about how you look and have a signature professional style. Is it pencil skirts with flats or open neck shirt and waistcoats?
- Protect your brand: Beware of other people with your name. Employers and contacts will search your name online and you don’t want any surprises with embarrassing results thrown up.
- Speaking and writing: Make sure these skills are the best they can be, both in your first language and in English. Employers are looking for candidates who are confident in both areas.
- Become an expert: Take courses and develop your knowledge, even after attaining your main career qualifications. Doing courses which compliment your career gives an advantage, however, spreading your knowledge either by blogging, giving talks or mentoring will really set yourself apart and give you a ‘go to’ reputation.
- Target companies: Think about which companies you would ideally align yourself with. There is nothing stopping you from approaching them with a speculative CV.
Your personal brand is something that your future employers, colleagues and clients will remember you by. Thinking of yourself as a brand to be marketed will bring a polished edge to your professional reputation, there’s no time like the present to get started.