What is a personal brand? This can link to you as an individual and what you have to offer to the employment world. Or it could refer to a product/business that you want to sell and how your skills fit around this. You can even use a personal brand to help market your own name and products; for example, if you personalise your business to a name like Jones Burgers, etc.
What skills do you have and how can you market them? The term skill does not necessarily refer to the skills you pick up in education but the skills you have built up through life experience. Are you a good communicator, team player etc.?
SEE ALSO: 5 of the Most Creative CVs – Ever
What makes your skills unique compared to everyone else’s? This is where you can think about that term USP (unique selling point). You may be a graduate who wants a particular internship but why are you so special, compared to all the competition?
If you want to create a brand for yourself, here are few factors to bear in mind:
- Have a LinkedIn profile – This will help employers and other companies see what you have to offer and give them a chance to get an overview of your experience and things you have achieved, both professionally and academically.
- Network professionally – If there is a company you are interested in or want to ask someone a question, network with them professionally. You could do this via LinkedIn or Twitter or ask for their email or contact number, etc.
- Ask for advice from renowned experts – If there are people who you see have established themselves, why not contact them? Tell them a little bit about yourself and ask for advice, if you think appropriate.
- If you are starting a business, why is it unique? – Make sure you do some market research about other businesses similar to yours. What makes yours extra special? Is it an online business, are you selling a service that no one else is? If so, is there a market for it, etc.?
- If you are looking for work, why is your personal brand different? – If you are using your personal brand to help you find a job, think about what you have achieved and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Were you actively involved in something at university, like a society or a club? If not, have you done volunteering or an internship – what did you learn? Also, why should a potential employer consider you? Have you used your time as an unemployed graduate wisely, i.e. non-paid work experience, etc.?
- Show enthusiasm and passion– Whatever you are interested in pursuing – whether it’s starting your own business, getting a job with a particular employer, or securing an important internship – show enthusiasm for it. A potential employer should be able to see you have a passion for your dream career. Sometimes starting a blog or a website can help exhibit your passion. So, if, for example, you love art and want to be an artist or a graphic designer, show what you have to offer on your blog.
Remember – personal branding is about your image, so make sure what you have online is professional. It won’t help if your pictures of going out partying end up on Twitter. You need to create a positive image of yourself – show that you’re serious about seeking employment. If you use Twitter, makes sure tweets are not involving any criticism. If a potential company isn’t interested in you, don’t mention it to the whole world, as this won’t create a good image for other potential employers. Move on from this.
Good luck with creating a personal brand for yourself and hope those tips and advice give you some food for thought.