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Personal Branding is what differentiates you from your peers; it’s what is relevant & compelling to the people making decisions about you. A brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.
Why you need a personal brand
Why you need a personal brand
- Social Networking is skyrocketing while email is plummeting and so you need to establish an online presence in order to create visibility & presence, and to communicate your value.
- It’s harder to find jobs traditionally anymore. In order to get a job, you must be creative, attract jobs to your social network. The traditional CV is now virtual and easy to build through e-portfolio’s, LinkedIn, websites etc.
- Job seeker passion has become an important deciding factor in employment. Your online presence should communicate what you are truly passionate about.
- Competition for jobs is fierce since there are large numbers of people looking for work. Without a strong personal brand, you could remain just another number in an overcrowded field. You must somehow standout from others in order to be selected for what you have to offer.
Note: Have a closer look at how you can become a more effective social networker.
The Google Search Audit: Rate Yourself
Have you ever Googled yourself? A bit of background research is a good starting point if you want to see what an employer would see when they Google you, and they will!
- Close out of all of your social media accounts.
- Search for yourself by name, nicknames, misspellings of your name and your name followed by a few keywords, e.g. hometown, school etc.
- Search for your email address, frequently used username, and phone number.
- Check the social media accounts, blogs or forums of your friends, family members and significant others.
Now that you have done some research, what information did you find about yourself?
- What do you think it say about you to a potential employer?
- How much information would you prefer to keep private?
- What would you like to remove? You’re in control!
- What kinds of posts would you like them to find?
The Personal Branding Audit: Rate Yourself
It is a good exercise to undertake a broader audit on your personal brand and ask yourself some important questions. You can also download the Personal Branding audit:
Are you known? And to whom?
What does it say about you?
How would colleagues describe you?
How do you want to be described?
Where are you positioned? Have you got followers? Who do you want to add to the list?
Who knows what you value, are passionate about?
What added value are you giving/can you give to stakeholders
Can your work be identified? Do you stand out? How?
Develop your brand – The Brand called “YOU”
You need to give careful consideration to what you want your brand to reflect and what you are going to do to enhance your brand.
5 Steps to Branding Success
- Consistency: The look, feel, and message of your brand should be consistent across all platforms.
- Understand your target audience: You need to understand what message your audience is looking to hear.
- Message/communication is clear: Your message should be clear, concise, and languaged appropriately at all times.
- Creative design/brand identity: You don’t have to be a design expert to develop a brand identity.
- If you need help, websites such as Fiverr offer support for as little as €5
- Relevance: Make sure that your content and communication across all platforms is relevant to your career development.
Communicating Your Personal Brand: An 8 point plan
Effective personal branding will help to differentiate you from the competition. If you’re willing to put in the time you can very quickly become an expert in your own personal brand. It won’t happen overnight of course so use your time wisely. You may not be able to do everything and it’s ok to pick and choose; just make sure that you engage with the activities and platforms that work for you.
- Personal Blog or Website:The cost of developing a website or blog is no longer that expensive. If you enjoy writing then a blog is certainly a better option. Ideally a website would be of your own name domain. Blogs also rank higher in search engines.
- LinkedIn:A fantastic online resource. A combination of CV, cover letter, references document and a moving and living database of your network.To find out more about how to use LinkedIn effectively click HERE (Link to LinkedIn info)
- E-portfolio:A great way to showcase the work you have done in the past, and the work you are doing now.
- Traditional Tools: You can’t forget CV & Cover Letter. When executed effectively they are essential marketing tools. The design, fonts and format will emphasise and support your brand. Your CV should have a distinctive branded look which should be carried through with all your career marketing communications i.e. E-portfolios, business cards, social networking sites etc. Include links to your online presence.
- PR Activity:Generate PR for yourself within printed media. Write articles for online sites and popular blogs.This may be more relevant for some career areas more than others.
- Business cards:It doesn’t matter if you are a student or a CEO, everyone should have their own business card. Business cards can be sourced on the internetat very little cost...or for free!
- Video CV:A short video of you talking about why you are the best for a specific job opportunity. A 60 – 90 second career commercial. Link to all social networking sites and blogs.
- Wardrobe: Your personal style is tangible and is extremely important for standing out from the crowd. Select clothing that best represents you as it will be viewable through your online presence, as well as when you meet people in reality.