If you think creating your personal brand is a frightening task, you’re both right and wrong.
We live in a look-at-me cultural shift that has enabled the job market to exponentially grow. Whether you’re job hunting, building your career and growing your network, it can be tough and challenging to set yourself apart
That’s why, defining your personal brand has since become a necessity to stand out.
What is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is who you are, what you stand for and the values you embrace. The “trick” is in the way in which you express these values. Just as how your favorite retailer brand communicates its value to customers and stands out from cutthroat competition. Your personal brand does the same for you: it helps you communicate a unique identity with a valuable offer to potential employers.
This is your story that plays a central role in defining your career.
85% of managers share that their hiring decisions are influenced by a candidate’s personal brand. An effective personal brand encapsulates a candidate’s strengths, reputation and communicates the unique attributes a candidate can bring to the current industry.
It’s like a signal that tells your employers whether you’ll be the right fit for the job opportunity
Here’s the thing about branding: it’s an introspective journey, examining your identity, values, strengths, weaknesses, motivations, goals, etc.
Too often, the easiest way to get lost in the process of, building a personal understanding of yourself is by not knowing where to start.
Here, HawodTech lists down five incremental tips on how you can master the art of authentic personal branding and marketing yourself to amplify your career.
Get it right and you are poised for continuous growth and success in your field.
5 Tips for Developing Your Personal Branding
1. Figure out who you are.
As cliche as it may sound, It’s important.
Building a personal brand entails reflecting your personal and professional identity. But to get to that, you first have to understand who you really are.
Like we mentioned earlier, be more introspective. Like Bower (2021) shared in her article, identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself:
- In which areas of work do I excel?
- What motivates me?
- What characteristics have others complimented me on?
- Which projects have others had to help me with repeatedly?
- Which roles seem to drain my energy?
- Which projects can I spend hours on without feeling overwhelmed or tired?
If you find yourself unable to commit to these questions, go around your surroundings – current workplace and at home. Ask your friends, relatives and even co-workers, how they would describe you.
Once self-awareness kicks in, you will be able to decide how you can blend the different aspects of your personality.
Keep in mind, though, that your personal brand is never final. It will evolve as your career grows.
2. Be your truest form of self – be genuine.
We cannot overemphasize this enough.
You’d be tempted to go after your aspirations like the people you wish you were or the people whose career you want to emulate.
But Oscar Wilde’s advice never gets old, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”
People will always see through you and understand what you’re not. The key is in finding the balance between what works for you and what else you can challenge. Learn from others that inspire you but do not lose yourself in the process just so you can ace your career.
You might be compelled to think that being true is suggestive of other matters. But you have to be conscious of your online appearance, too.
Companies and recruiters are very much aware of how candidates like you, craft their personality. Make it a point to invest time and energy onto your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.
For LinkedIn, align with the professional look of the site – from your photos to your posts. Do not shy away from flaunting your credentials. You’ve earned them after all. As long as they are true—like your degree, certificates and training – your LinkedIn should serve as your resume. Tell your story on this platform. Give recruiters a sneak peak to your professional background.
For Facebook and Instagram, demonstrate what you are passionate about and what hobbies are you keen on pursuing. What discussion interests you? Is it education, animals, helping the poor, devoting efforts to social and environmental causes or religion? How do you interact with your friends and families? May it be travelling, photography or sports, most hiring managers will look at these pages to get an idea as to who you are as a person outside work. Are your beliefs, principles and passion aligned with their culture and core values?
They’re interested about one thing: are you the kind of person they’re looking for?
3. Be Gravitational.
It is by being your most authentic self that this part becomes possible.
When you’re real about your work ethics, you attract the right people, too.
One of the key skills for the future of work will be your ability to build relationships deeply and profoundly even if its through virtual means. Develop yourself to be someone others want to work with by being optimistic and energetic.
There’s a certain magnetism that positivity does to pull the right people in. Just as how you want to be around others who make work beaming with optimism, they would want to work with you for the same reason.
Look around you. Tune in and learn about the people who contribute to your positive space. When you see hints of people you want to become and those that you don’t, knowing who you are becomes an easier task.
Always exude humility, never arrogance. You can be gravitational by drawing people to you and by genuinely being supportive of others. An example could be demonstrating social awareness by contributing to communities
The way you form and nurture relationships with others is an addition to your introspective journey of personal branding.
4. Identify what it is that you want to be known for
Aside from being a mere reflection, Personal brand is a guideline of where you aim to go like a roadmap. Before getting on this journey, self awareness is important. As said earlier, You may need to examine your identity, values, strengths, weaknesses, motivations, goals, etc.
Only by doing so, can you begin to discover your unique skills. Also, forecasting where you see yourself in the next 3 or 5 years and how you’d be known for is beneficial. These extra measures will help you get a head start towards your goals.
5. Understand your target audience
Identify who you are trying to reach or connect to.
Are you hoping to connect with the industry thought leaders? Are you eyeing the recruiters?
The sooner you can define your audience, the smoother it will be to define your journey.
Let’s put this into context. If you are aiming to reach hiring managers or recruiters, you might want to start creating or updating your LinkedIn profile? 92% of recruiters leverage social media to find high-quality candidates. 87% of them use LinkedIn.
When you have a picture of who your target audience is, it will be easier to understand your story.
Your success in defining your professional and personal brand and marketing, will be based on the story you tell and your everyday valuable interactions.
Being yourself, honing your skills and establishing good relationships with others are part of this branding magic. HawodTech believes there is not one certain formula for this process, but it is the mindset to presenting your best self and investing in relationships
This is the key concept that will set you apart and poise you for capturing positive attention.
Brower, T. (2021). Personal Branding: 5 Ways To Build Your Career With Lessons From Big Brands. Forbes. Retrieved 24 September 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/tracybrower/2021/05/02/personal-branding-5-ways-to-build-your-career-with-lessons-from-big-brands/?sh=79d886dc3192. Tips for Building Your Personal Brand. Northeastern University Graduate Programs. (2019). Retrieved 24 September 2021, from https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/tips-for-building-your-personal-brand/.