Companies spend millions communicating their offer to stand out from the competition and ensuring their audience continues to support them and make them the first choice for a purchase.
Personal branding works in a similar way – you need to know what your unique offer is – your brand and you need to decide what you communicate to the general public.
What is Personal branding?
“Personal branding is the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.”
Conveying a great brand is going to help you to communicate who you are, target the right people and create a credible public presence! And, when it comes to looking for employment, you need to know the essentials of what to do and what to avoid.
Here’s our 5 steps to address when you are working on your personal brand so that you express yourself in the most positive and impactful way.
Step 1 – The Why
- You become more visible
- You become more hireable
- You become more likeable
- Recruiters get to know you better
It’s worth taking some time to look at what you are saying and how you are promoting yourself. The benefits in creating your identity, not just on your CV and cover letter, but across everything you do means you increase the chances of a hiring manager finding you. You increase your visibility by being proactive and giving a clear message of what you can offer and who you are.
People love reading about people, it’s not all about the skills and experience but personality goes a long way in the hiring decision process so remember to bring in the type of person you are when you post on social media.
Step 2 – Create a ‘statement’ of who you are
To build you personal brand, creating a ‘statement’ helps get your message out quickly! It is basically a very short description of who you are and what you can offer that makes you unique. A good first step is to ask those around you what they say you are good at? How do they describe you to others? What positive things do you hear people say all the time about you?
Now, which words can you use to build a professional statement?
It needs to be:
- Describe you and your skill
- Be genuine
Here’s a few to give you an idea! Have no clue what ‘Nick Cave of Recruitment’ means but it sparked my curiosity! He didn’t know either when someone asked him 😊 but it creates lots of interest!
Step 3 – Build a good network
Once you have found your niche and decided on your personal statement, you can then build you network. Build connections across all networks: Instagram/Facebook/Twitter and especially LinkedIn. If you want a private life, then have a separate ‘professional’ account that means you won’t be embarrassed if a recruiter looks at your Facebook!
LinkedIn is a professional networking portal with 87% of recruiters regularly using it and over half of all jobs are filled through LinkedIn. It’s the best place to start building your brand and connections in all the organisations that you want to work for.
Increase your visibility by connecting with other professionals and showcasing your skills.
Step 4 – Believe in yourself
It can be tough going applying for jobs and often, if it has been going for a while, you can lose your confidence and stop believing in what you can offer.
Be kind to yourself and give yourself breaks throughout the day where you focus on something other than job searching. By doing this, you gain more energy to work on your job applications and connecting with others to increase your chances of finding paid employment.
Focus on what you have achieved already
By going through the steps of creating your statement and setting up your professional online presence, it will help you realise what you have achieved so far in your career and your successes. If you are a fresh graduate, you still have tons to offer having slogged through the last few years in lectures and writing your thesis and probably working part-time to fund your studies. You can utilise all those soft skills and experience to give you an edge and start with your personality, it’s the most unique thing about you and will set you apart from your peers.
You know your strengths and weaknesses, spend some time identifying which ones you can include in your communication and how you can turn a negative into a positive – everything can be used as an opportunity.
Step 5 – What to avoid
It’s absolutely fine to use stories or share experience from your personal life to showcase who you are. The key is not to overshare. Showing perseverance through running a marathon or your volunteer work to show you have a life outside of you job, will always be a positive!
Hiring managers need to know that you will fit into their organisation and if you have the personality and temperament that aligns with their values. When you post anything online, it’s there for good so be careful what you post!
Always be yourself, be real and be proud of who you are and what you can achieve. Don’t be fake and pretend to be something you are not and copy someone else.
Don’t use an old photo
Always use the same photo for your LinkedIn, CV and cover letter. Don’t use an image from 20 years ago or, it needs to look like you today and please SMILE!
Be careful who you follow on social media
Don’t follow people who will hurt your ‘brand’ or give a hiring manager the wrong idea about you. Be authentic but always recognise that hiring managers are using social media to assess you, what type of person you are and whether there is anything that would mean their brand would be harmed by hiring you.
There are plenty of great individuals, companies and organisations that share knowledge, learning and inspiration on all the platforms, for you to upskill, grow and equip yourself.
Work on your personal brand and see the change!
Before you get going ….
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