With greater competition in the job market these days, the importance of a strong, unique personal brand that speaks about who we are, what we have to offer and resonates with potential employers should not be understated. Taking ownership of your personal brand is a good way to manage your image and chart the course of your career development. This week, we share with you the key steps to building a personal brand that would allow you to stand out and be noticed:
1. Selecting your platforms
The power of the internet lies in its global reach, hence your online presence is crucial for personal branding. Employment-oriented social networking sites such as LinkedIn are utilized by over half a billion users, hence it would be a disadvantage to not already be active on the site. On top of professional platforms, you may also consider curating a strong presence on Facebook or Youtube, which can be a useful resources for branding yourself too.
2. Craft your proposition
Consider your past working experience. What are some commitments you can leverage? Which of your stints have equipped you with the skills and attainments that are in high demand now? You could also think about your experience and skills accumulated from your years in college, community service or even the military. These spaces would have also been crucial in developing your interpersonal and leadership skills.
Then, consider your strengths. What do people tell you you are great at and show appreciation to you for? What about yourself do you take pride in? Are there examples to demonstrate these characteristics?
Testimonials are crucial in supporting what you put out there so if you find that you have yet to collect positive feedback and comments from your ex-colleagues or supervisors, perhaps now is a good time to catch up on that. Your peers would also have huge role to play in helping you reflect on your strengths and weaknesses.
3. Vision and values
While clarity of your strengths and experience is fundamental to your personal brand, people are no doubt also drawn to your passion in pursuing your personal goals and more importantly, your personal beliefs and principles. An individual who shares his vision, dreams, values and goals would certainly come across as more inspired and driven. Moreover, they create new topics for conversation and spark off ideas for collaboration.
Talking about your vision and values is not only a great way for holding yourself accountable to your commitment, but also for seeking out similar minds and individuals to support you in pursuing your personal and career goals.
4. Turning ideas into words
Storytelling is an important skill, regardless of the profession you are in. Distilling the trove of information you have into succinct and memorable lines would allow you to capture the attention of headhunters, recruiters and any potential business partners better and speak to them in your personal voice.
A personal brand statement would be useful in this regard, as it effectively captures much of your unique strengths and experience.
Don’t just write what you think would interest your ideal employers, share your proudest achievements. Project your most genuine self in simple language and write about what resonates with you the most. After all, your personal brand should neither over-promise nor under-deliver, but echo the best of you.
5. Seek a second opinion before it goes live
Seek feedback from your friends, peers or contacts working in recruitment about the content and layout you are intending to put out there. Ask them if they consider it to be an accurate reflection of your strengths and personality, and for areas to work on. Feedback from your close contacts is crucial in providing insights on the quality of your personal branding and whether it reflects does your strengths and reputation justice.