Tips for Creating and Growing Your Personal Brand
Landing your dream job requires more than graduating from a university. It involves creating a personal brand and marketing that brand to make sure you stand out as a unique candidate to potential employers.
A well-built personal brand should define who you are, what makes you unique, and where you are headed in your career. Consider this to be your introduction to potential employers. Let’s look at a few tips to help you get started in creating and growing your own unique personal brand.
Pinpoint your goals
The first step in any career-building activity is to pinpoint your goals. What do you hope to achieve within the next year? What about the next five years? And what about beyond that? Take some time to answer questions like these, as your answers will drive how you brand yourself.
Your goals will help you to determine your target audience. Messages aimed at companies hiring for engineering positions should be different than those targeting companies looking for graphic designers.
Pinpointing your goals will also help you create your message. This should be consistent across everything you do including your resume, your social media platforms, your personal website, and your presentation of yourself in person.
Define your value proposition
A company’s value proposition states why consumers should buy a company’s product or use their service. When it comes to a personal brand, a value proposition expresses to a company how a person is unique. It helps you stand out from other candidates and lets potential employers know exactly what you have to offer them. Think of this as your verbal business card.
Your value proposition should include your strengths, your motivations, and your individual style. And it should be visible in every place you market your brand. Include it at the top of your resume. Use it as your headline on LinkedIn. And fit it in as part of your answers to interview questions.
Your personal brand will only be an effective tool if others know about it. Actively marketing yourself is the most powerful way to stand out to potential employers and start paving your way down your career path.
Become an active participant on professional social media sites like LinkedIn, making sure to interact with key people in your desired industry. Share interesting content to demonstrate that you’re up-to-date on the latest industry news. Better yet, try creating a few pieces of original content to show off your knowledge.
Make sure you’re coming out from behind your computer as well. Find events that will make for great networking events. Come prepared with a brief elevator pitch and a personalized business card, both of which reflect your own brand, of course!
Finally, utilize one of the most powerful marketing techniques out there: word-of-mouth. Enlist advisors, professors, former managers, and mentors to help you market your brand. Mentors can be a great way to get your foot in the door with professionals you might not otherwise be able to connect with.