People are no longer seen as just workers, but instead as assets with specific talents and skills. Since professionals tend to change positions much more frequently across the board, they are carrying a much more complex diversity of experiences with them. Employers want to understand what value your professional journey will bring to their company. So, knowing how to market your skills package, and make that understanding stick, has become crucial in every industry. Yet, the idea seems rather uncomfortable for most people. How does one go about ‘getting’ a brand for themselves? We heard the discomfort, so we made the 1, 2, 3 guide to professional branding:
1. BRAINSTORM YOUR BRAND
The first step in creating a personal brand is thinking of yourself as an asset that companies want instead of a cog-in-the-machine worker. You are necessary to them and your skills add value to their mission. So, ask yourself these questions: What are your talents that would be an asset to your industry? What knowledge and experiences do you have to share? What makes you marketable in your industry? Allow yourself to consider all perspectives on your experience, be creative. Now, consolidate these answers into an elevator-speech type mantra. This is the essence of your brand. Work from that image to create the content across all your application materials and profiles.
2. SET THE STAGE BY CHECKING YOUR ONLINE IMAGE
Take stock of your online presence. Google yourself to see what comes up and make sure that it fits with the brand that you are aiming for. Read through your LinkedIn and add a professional photo. Locate and look over any personal sites or portfolios. If you are tweeting, make sure it’s productive and positive content. Clean up your Facebook and untag less than flattering content. If you are on sites that you want to keep private, use an alias that is unrelated to your real name. Even if your future employer doesn’t bother to look at social media in their hiring process (but mostly likely, they will) maintaining a consistent, clean image across all public forums is imperative in building a personal brand.
3. LAUNCH YOUR BRAND
Ok- your idea is solid, your stage is cleared and set. You are ready to launch! Update your LinkedIn content and skills section with your branding strategy in mind. Re-inspire your cover letter and resume under your branding mantra. You can even create a simple and catchy personal website, or portfolio depending on your industry, to further consolidate the message that you want to convey. Link all these tools to each other and make sure that they build a coherent picture of you as a candidate. They should not repeat each other (pull out your thesaurus!) but complement each other under the same powerful branding. Anywhere your employer looks, BAM there you are to impress!
If you would like feedback on the brand that you have created – Let’s Talk ↓