Why You Need to Create a Personal Brand to Get Ahead in the Job Market

Dec 16, 2016

who are youWho are you more likely to remember: someone who’s dressed like a department store mannequin, or someone who has chosen to wear bright plaid shorts with a maroon paisley button up shirt and a cowboy hat to top it off? Our bets are on the latter.

Now, we’re not suggesting you dress like the example above. Especially when it comes to the professional world, you’re more likely to get remembered for the wrong reason. But our example goes to show that when you take the time to stand out from the crowd, you’re more likely to get noticed.

Creating a brand is one of the best ways companies get noticed. Businesses understand the value of creating a brand, and many of them spend thousands of dollars to distinguish themselves from the rest. As a professional, you can and should do the same.

When it comes to the career world, you are your own business. Those who have done freelancing or work on the side are familiar with this concept, but it’s true for anyone still in the job market. Branding is the best way to set yourself apart from the thousands of other workers competing with you.

Not only will you set yourself apart from other candidates, but you’ll also give other professionals a clear picture of your skills, previous performance, and potential value.

How to Create Your Own Personal Brand

If you have no marketing experience, you might not know how to start creating your own brand. Follow the steps outlined below and you’ll be off to a great start!

There are two major aspects you’ll want to establish for your brand.

Visual Presentation

Creating a recognizable visual brand helps companies associate you with specific design elements. A visual brand gives your credentials more depth and helps you become more tangible in the eyes of a potential employer.

Take some time to decide how you want to present yourself. Do you want to appear fun and personal? Professional and calm? Strong and intelligent? Whatever you want to come across as, there are ways to represent that visually. Pick one or two typefaces, a color scheme, and a logo or small image to represent yourself and your personal brand. Once you’ve decided on your visual identity, make sure you keep it consistent across all of your platforms. You’ll also want to apply this design to your resume to help it stand out from the dozens of other resumes hiring managers have to sort through.

Representation of Core Values

Some of the best marketing happens when companies take the time to incorporate their core values into all of their communication. Look at anything of Whole Foods and you’ll see they value sustainable food. Squarespace values clean, easy to use web design. There are hundreds of other examples, but they all boil down to the same thing: their values are clear in everything they do.

What do you value as a worker? Do you represent having a strong work ethic? Are you friendly in everything you do? Whatever it is you value the most in your professional life, taking the time and energy to represent your core values will do wonders for your personal brand.

How to Start Creating Your Brand

 These ideas are all well and good, but what does this look like in practice? Here are some ideas for you to start with.

An estimated 93% of hiring professionals check out a potential employee’s social media presence before deciding who to hire. It’s safe to assume your interviewer will check out your Facebook and other social media when they’re trying to make a decision.

Creating and sticking to a brand means presenting yourself the same way over all of your social media platforms. Unless you want to come off as a spiteful person, don’t tweet about how much you hate the job you’ve just been offered. Chances are your potential employee won’t stick around long enough for you to say “no thanks”.

Using your resume to illustrate your visual identify and core values will help catch the eye of hiring professionals. You can use a career objective statement, or use job descriptions to demonstrate examples of your values in action.

During the interview, you’ll have several opportunities to use the interview questions as a way to promote your personal brand. Take some time beforehand to familiarize yourself with common interview questions and craft responses that represent the attributes you value most.

You don’t have to be a marketing guru to create a personal brand. Taking the time to figure out how to represent yourself may very well be the best thing you do for your career.



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