Have you ever had someone tell you that you need to build a brand for yourself? The idea can be confusing as you may not think of yourself as a brand or an asset, but rather as a person. While this is appropriate, to companies looking to hire individuals, they see employees as assets. You as an asset to a company is only as valuable as your brand.
Think about how you react to products when you walk through the grocery store. Go down the soda aisle and take a look at what you recognize. You spot the brand names right away and see them as more valuable than the generic options. They may offer the exact same in taste, quantity, and more, but the brand carries more value. You need to build your personal branding so companies perceive you much the same way you perceive brands as a consumer.
Understand What Brand You Want to Build
As an individual job seeker, a personal brand is the best asset you have. You need to start the building of your personal brand by knowing what brands you want to build. Are you trying to go for a brand that showcases a leadership presence in more of a formal, corporate setting? Perhaps you want a brand to shine through that you are an entrepreneur, more casual, and idealistic in your career path?
Think through where you want to be in your career in the next five years, even a decade. Once you have a few goals in mind, try to come up with a brand that will help you achieve those goals. Knowing your goals can help you set the finish line, and then work to get there as time passes. Recruiters are looking for specific personality attributes along with skill sets during the recruitment process. By building your personal brand to exemplify your personal attributes and skill sets, you will showcase your best to recruiters.
Social Media is a Great Ally
Many job seekers stay off social media in fear that it will backfire when they go to apply for a new job. Social media, though, can be a great ally to you in your job hunt. Just be aware of what you put on there. Everything you place on social media needs to support you as a brand. When you send out a tweet, think about what a job recruiter could perceive should they scan your account and history. On LinkedIn, think about how you comment on posts of individuals and the impact it can have on perception.
What you do on social media can help to inform recruiters, hiring managers, and staffing professionals of what you can bring to the table. It is great to have a resume and cover letter, but it is even better to have a social media background that supports everything you are putting forward.
Dress for Success and Act on the Talk
You never know who you are going to meet, so always dress for success. You need to position yourself not for your next role, but for the next few roles ahead. When a hiring manager hires for a position, they want to see that the person can take leaps over time. When you dress for success, you will be memorable and stand out in a positive way.
You also need to act and back up the brand you showcase. The best brand in the world has the quality product to back it up. Your work product needs to help promote your brand positively, not bring it down. Make sure you act on your talk and execute daily no matter what you are doing.
You build a personal brand every day. Dress for success, talk your brand, and execute on what you are selling every day at work. Using social media as an ally, you can seek individual gain through career movement both internally or with a new external company. Your brand is your best asset for career advancement and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can use it to your advantage.