What is self-branding?
Brands dominate our lives whether it comes to clothing, food, cars or any other consumer product. Just like the many brand names that stand out, you too can use branding in our own professional lives to help yourself stand out. This type of branding in known as “self-branding”. Branding yourself is a way to portray your personality and career reputation to other professionals. Self-branding comes from your contributions and performance; something that your future employers can expect from you. It shapes your identity, which ultimately can attract the attention of new or potential employers.
Why is self-branding important?
Self-branding can be one aspect of your job search that allows you to stand out amongst the rest of the competing applicants. If done correctly, it could be the reason you generate interest from employers, ultimately helping you to continue further on in the hiring process. When you have a standout personal brand, you not only develop interest from employers, but you gain the attention of recruiters as well. Many recruiters use social media for scouting future candidates, so it’s important to portray a consistent professional brand that is constant throughout all your social media platforms. A great first impression via your social media (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc.) could be the reason you land that initial interview over an applicant with little or no web presence or over someone who has an inconsistent or unprofessional social media brand.
How to make your own personal brand:
Now that you know what a personal brand is, and how it contributes significantly to the job search process, you may be wondering how to go about branding yourself in the right way. Utilizing social media is a major way to get your personal brand out there. It is important not to rely on one social media platform, but rather, build a presence on multiple outlets, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. You want to build your profile fully and consistently throughout all of your social media platforms. Your profile is the place to show off your accomplishments and prove your hard work. Updating your profiles regularly with relevant content and recent accomplishments, shows your commitment to your brand. You never know when you will have the opportunity to impress someone in your industry. Social media is also a place to market your skills. Once again, you are able to portray more dimension to your brand, thus allowing your personality to shine. Now that you have a consistent brand across all your social media profiles, it’s just as important to build your professional network within these social platforms so that your brand reaches a large number of potential employers and/or recruiters. Make sure to connect with other professionals in your industry and with similar interests or skills and to be an active participant in groups with like-minded professionals.