While the phrase “personal brand” can conjure images of the Beckhams or motivational speakers, but in this digital age, everyone already has their own brand. It’s important to take control of how you’re viewed both online and off, and active brand-building is the best way to do it.
Here are the essential elements for any personal brand, especially when you’re using it as part of job search.
A unique selling point or USP is the thing that sets one product apart from all the others. In this case, it means thinking of the qualities that set you apart from other job seekers in your field. This can be awards, qualifications, experiences, skills, ambitions, or whatever else you think makes you unique. Make sure that this is front and centre in all of your branding.
Don’t worry, we’re not saying you should start writing a blog. Creating a two or three page website is a great way to get your brand out there. It should include a short bio, a picture, your CV, and list your qualifications and achievements.
It’s easy to find free and simple templates to design your site, and you should consider buying a unique URL (i.e. yourname.com). To ensure your website is easy to find, Google yourself; if you have a common name, consider using your middle initial so people know they’ve found the right person. Also, many DNS providers will allow you to create a custom email address, which will look very professional to potential employers.
This is where a lot of your brand comes into play. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and all the other social media networks help to build your image and show off your personality. It’s good practice to use the same username and profile picture across the board so that you’re instantly recognisable.
You should also make sure you portray a consistent and directed message in each post. Consider what you’re saying and how it will be received. You should also think about ways to make your feeds valuable, something people would want to share and come back to.
Your brand extends beyond the digital world, and business cards are a key part of your real-world branding. They’re a great way to share your contact information, and should include a short personal statement as well. Keep the look simple and clean, and don’t forget to add links to your social media and personal websites.
Like your business cards, your CV transcends the virtual medium. You want to make sure it stands out from the crowd and shows off your personality. Your personal statement can be a great way to generate consistency across the brand, and don’t forget to include a link to your personal website.