One of the most significant challenges anybody will face while applying for jobs is standing out from the competition. I remember one of my clients mentioning that 700 people had applied for a position she was interviewing for. How can you be the chosen one among 700 candidates? That is an arduous task.
There are several strategies available to improve your chances of getting chosen by an employer, but there is one that I consider the most important of them all: personal branding.
Let's look at five impacts that personal branding can have on building our careers.
1) It Allows You to Have Control Over the Narrative About Yourself
Your personal brand is the total of everything you say and do. It represents your values, beliefs, personality, work ethic, and other traits that make up your identity. Everything else - including your reputation, credibility, and influence - depends entirely on your ability to create an authentic and compelling self-image. As someone who builds a personal brand, you control how you wish to be seen by others. You dictate the direction you want to give to your image. People that don’t intentionally build their personal brand risk having a confused "jack of all trades” or even a negative image.
2) It Makes Your Resume Stand Out
When you apply for a position, you should tailor your resume to match the requirements of the role by using the information provided in the company's job posting. Also, highlight any skills that you possess that relate to the role, and state how your brand fits into the company's vision. What does your brand represent? Is it a creative individual who enjoys working with people? A technical expert who loves solving problems? Or a team player who thrives under pressure? Whatever your brand is, ensure it is reflected throughout your resume.
3) It Helps to Build Relationships
If you don't have any online presence, no matter how much talent you might have, you won't be able to show who you are. So, how do you start building relationships? By sharing content that relates to your brand. For example, if you are a creative graphic designer, you could share some of your favourite design projects on your blog or LinkedIn posts. If you are a salesperson, you could share tips on how to sell more effectively. Other people outside your network will start to relate to the content you share and will naturally be more open to having you as part of their network. Being connected with like-minded people or people you can learn from is always good.
4) It Improves your Confidence
"What do you do?" "Who are you?" 'Why should I hire you?" These questions can cause a lot of stress if you are asked under pressure, and that is what you will experience while in a job interview or attending a networking event. But remember, personal branding is a journey, a learning process about yourself, so keepworking on it until you feel comfortable sharing your story. Once you've learned who you are, or more precisely, how you want to be seen by others, you'll be able to handle these types of questions and give answers that will leave a lasting impression on those around you.
5) It Creates Opportunities
Opportunities, in this case, are any advantages that could benefit your career. A valuable new contact on LinkedIn; a training course you were hired to present; or a recruiter who contacts you about a position in your industry, even if you're not actively seeking employment. These opportunities aren't randomly handed out; they are a direct result of your efforts and the recognition you've earned from others while building your brand. People will naturally approach you to seek your advice or assistance. They respect you and trust your judgement. You become a "top of mind" when your professional network debates your field of expertise.
Building your personal brand is a continuous process that requires time and effort. In a competitive environment where there are plenty of people trying to get ahead, this strategy can be used to reach your career goals and minimize the impact caused by your competition.
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