When we hear the word branding, we automatically think of Coke, Apple and or Pepsi, however it is now a term that is being used regularly in careers and job searching and here's why you should start to think about your brand?
Your personal brand is all about who you are and how you communicate that, not only online but also face to face. Think of those dreaded “Tell me about yourself” or “What motivates you?” questions, knowing what you stand for and how to sell it will help set you apart from the other applicants.
More and more employers are now Googling applicants at various stages in the recruitment process and of course will form an impression of you based on what they find, therefore it's important that you start to take control of that.
Here are a few tips on how to go about determining your own Personal Brand.
This is the most important step, knowing your skills, interests, values and motivations is an important first step. You need to really consider who am I? What do I want to be known for? Identify the areas in which you excel. How do you contribute to a group's success? What can you do easily that others cannot? Then consider how personal qualities equip you for particular challenges and how other people describe you, or look to you to solve problems. You'll probably find certain common themes emerging, signalling your natural talents and qualities.
Think about what skills you have to offer as well as your personality type and your temperament and be proactive in how you're developing and keep a record of events and activities and the skills demonstrated by them.
Think about where you want to be in five, 10 or even 20 years' time and what you would like to be known for. Consider the elements in life that would make you happy and the things that would bring you satisfaction in your career. These interactive tools may prove a useful starting point – All about careers and Prospects planner.
Have confidence in your identity. Employers want to hire people who are confident in who they are (know themselves) and authentic (are themselves). Trying to be something you're not doesn't work.
Make an impact! Go to your careers fair and take this opportunity to speak to every employer about their career opportunities and what is on offer, this is not the time to shop for free goodies. If you make the right impression and establish yourself you will be the one that the recruiters remember when driving home that day and the one they are most likely to call in for an interview.
Manage your online presence and be purposeful in what you share. With social media tools, blogs, and mobile applications, there are endless opportunities to become known and connect with other people. If you haven't done so, build your profile on LinkedIn – it's an obvious place for employers to find out about you. Be mindful that every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share, contributes to your personal brand.
Continue to grow – never get complacent with your personal brand. Continue to grow your network and maintain the relationships you have developed. Stay in communication and use every opportunity to continue to network and grow your contacts. Keep reviewing – monitor your own success and adapt accordingly.