Building a personal brand
While a combination of education, experience and skills can lead to career success, nowadays landing your dream job can feel like a competitive sport.
So how can you make yourself stand out from the crowd?
Building a personal brand can be the difference in securing the job you want. While the phrase may seem like a trend of the modern times, personal branding has always been relevant.
Yes, a great CV and personal presentation in an interview are traditional means of this idea and key to your career progression. But the digital age has made us more personally transparent than ever and building a personal brand can be one of the most powerful tools to make an impression.
Firstly it’s important to start with a clear understanding of your professional identity. It’s no secret that recruiters and employers will often Google a candidates name and review their online presence. Take a moment to Google yourself and see if the results accurately portray you in the way you want to be perceived.
Does the content there capture and communicate who you are and what you do and value you bring? Your personal brand should summarise the above and show how you are unique and essential to prospective employers, colleagues and industry peers.
Shape your digital presence
If your Google results are looking a little lacklustre there are ways to boost your online presence.
- Create a LinkedIn account to ensure your professional profile is listed first in the search results.
- Customise your LinkedIn URL so that recruiters can easily find you.
- Control what is visible to the public via the privacy settings across your social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.)
Make sure you define your core message and use that throughout your branding material, including your CV, LinkedIn account and personal blog.
If you want to go a step further then look for creative outputs that can showcase your talents. Create a blog or website that outlines your experience, links to your CV and contact information. Demonstrate that you are a thought leader in your field by using your social media accounts to your advantage.
A journalism student can share interesting blog articles or a graphic designer could post their artwork and ideas on Instagram. If appropriate to the company and the role, find creative ways to stand out. This could mean going the extra mile and producing work that shows your skills.
Shake on it
Never underestimate the power of a strong and confident handshake, particularly during networking and interview situations. Exchanging business cards is also a great way for people to remember you and get your contact details.
If you do end up landing an interview for your dream job, ensure you prepare thoroughly and consider how your present yourself. No matter how good or amazing your digital personal brand is, nothing beats good old-fashioned manners!
Words by Stephanie Cossetto, images via Unsplash