As a job seeker, you have probably come to realize just how competitive the workforce is today. You have to position yourself as a unique individual who offers a value proposition that is unlike any other candidates. This differentiation is your personal brand! Just like a company, your brand says a lot about your reputation and overall image. You must strategically market yourself to convey your brand to future employers. Here are a few best practices to help you better understand how to brand yourself to stand out among the fierce competition.
First things first, you want to ensure that when you’re building your personal brand that you remain your authentic self. It will be difficult to establish and maintain sustainable relationships if you create a fake persona. Discrepancies between who you claim to be and your behaviors will emerge over time, and your credibility will fade quickly. Consider your personal values, ambitions and aspirations – your personal brand should be an accurate reflection of who you are, not necessarily how you want others to perceive you.
Once you have developed an understanding of yourself and how that translates to your personal brand, begin to think about what sets you apart from the competition. What is your distinct value proposition? Just as companies strive to promote a competitive advantage, you should too as a job seeker! It may seem difficult at first, but be confident in yourself. Think about your special skills and unique passions – the combination of your experiences (both inside and outside of the office) and interests could give you a competitive edge. If you are still struggling, reach out to a colleague, previous professor or manager who knows you well enough to offer an objective perspective and assist you in establishing your unique value proposition.
Having an up-to-date resume is critical while on the job search, but it is equally important to build your online presence, especially when it comes to your personal brand. You want to ensure that you are searchable by employers and that you convey your personal brand across all channels. The advancement of technology has provided job seekers with a variety of tools to leverage their brand and permanently increase their brand awareness. You have some control over what people see when they search your name online, but it’s smart to manage this proactively. Google search your name and test whether or not the results springboard potential employers to sites that showcase your brand. One of your most important platforms should be your LinkedIn profile, which should follow these guidelines. But, you want to make sure your other social sites – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. – are also conveying your brand. If you have a personal website, a portfolio of blogs, a YouTube channel, etc. then you want those to communicate your brand as well.
Once you’ve established a solid online presence, you must be mindful of maintaining a consistent personal brand across all of your platforms. Just as an unauthentic-self will diminish your credibility, so will inconsistencies between channels. Conduct a “social media audit” for your channels and ensure your content aligns with your personal brand. This is a critical piece of building your personal brand – consistency is key!
Lexie Murdough is the marketing intern with WilsonHCG. She received her Bachelors in Marketing from the University of Tampa, and recently joined the marketing team after spending seven months interning on the recruitment side of WilsonHCG. She is a graduate student at UT pursuing her MBA, and her passions include traveling, skydiving, spending a day at the beach, and unconditionally loving her cat, Luna.