The traditional job search has changed significantly in the last 5 years. Globalization, changing economic cycles, the development of social media and changing demands from employers have impacted the landscape of how employers look for candidates, how job seekers look for work, and most importantly how those job seekers stand out from the crowd.
Creating a personal brand is one way to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of others you are competing against for a coveted position. Corporations have used branding effectively to make them stand out from their competition as they sell products, attract investments and recruit staff. The same principle can make you stand out and be top of mind for potential employers.
Simply put, a Personal Brand is how you are perceived by your audience (employers) relative to your competitors (other job seekers). You can create your personal brand by focusing on these elements:
Personal Appearance – How you dress, your personal grooming and overall presentation
Personality – Your values, goals, identity and behaviour.
Professional/Personal Competencies – These include your business, communication, personal and technical skills that enable you to perform your job responsibilities.
Your Differentiator – This is what sets you apart and makes you unique. Consider what value or benefit you bring to a potential employer.
In order to create and represent your personal brand effectively so that others can see your potential as you see it yourself, I recommend you consider these tips:
- Develop your story or message by using the above elements that make-up your personal brand. By knowing your worth and telling your story, you will make a positive impression that will resonate with potential employers who are looking for someone like you.
- Properly manage your online presence. Be social media savvy by choosing the right tools for your job search and to share your brand. For example, social media websites are often used personally to connect with friends and family. However, many employers also have pages on social sites and look for candidates that have similar values. Link your profile to other websites that show your professional, volunteer or community activities in order to provide a more complete picture of your skills.
- Generate brand awareness by networking. Brands need maximum exposure to be effective and your brand isn’t any different. Networking with a purpose will help you achieve that exposure and make sure the right people know your “brand.”
- Honesty is the most important aspect of your brand. Don’t present yourself as someone you are not or make promises that you cannot keep. Keep it real as trust is a vital part of any effective branding strategy.
To receive free assistance with creating your personal brand or with other aspects of your job search, visit one of our Employment Services locations.