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Career Planning & Employability

Personal Branding

Being YOUnique in the graduate jobs market

I have you ever heard of the term a Personal Brand or Personal Branding? I’m sure you know what a business brand is – they are part of our everyday life, we are constantly bombarded by brands from TV, SM every YouTube clip you watch, even on the sides of buses. Branding is a billion-pound industry in all sectors or business. But, have you ever considered yourself as a brand? The idea of “personal branding” is unusual to most people. But in this online era, where things, both good and bad, last forever on the internet, personal branding can be considered more important than ever, especially in a highly competitive graduate jobs market. Being able to be unique and authentic is a prized asset that you need to take control of now!

Have you ever Googled your name? Obviously, you may find that other people share your name. But when you do see items that mention you, do they show what you want the world to see?

How are you perceived offline? Do they see you how you want to be seen? Remember how you see yourself and how the world sees you could be entirely different. How do you want prospective employers to see you and your brand?

What is Your Personal Brand?

Your personal brand is how you promote yourself. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see you. It is the telling of your story, and how it reflects your skills, talents, values, passions. Wrapped up in your Unique Selling Point (USP).

A well thought out and developed Personal Brand You can differentiate yourself from other people. Done well, you can stand out and be highly memorable, creating an impression with people no corporate branding can possibly succeed.

Professionally, your personal brand is the image that people see of you. It can be a combination of how they look at you in real life and the impression that people gain from the information about you available online.

Your Brand is being built whether you like it or not, do not ignore your personal brand as it could develop chaotically, beyond your control creating the wrong impression to the people you need to impress. Take control now and develop a brand to depict you as the person you want to be.

Why Would You Want a Personal Brand?

Your personal brand can be vital to you professionally. It is how you present yourself to potential employers. It gives you the opportunity to ensure that people see you in the way you want them to, instead of in some arbitrary, possibly detrimental, way.

It gives you the opportunity to highlight your strengths, values and passions. It helps people believe they know you better, and people have much higher trust in those they feel they know and can relate to.

Why is Personal Branding Important?

You need to create a strong personal brand if you want to be stand out from your peers and competitors, using your Personal Brand to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in your areas of expertise.

A unique and authentic personal brand is what makes you memorable.

Considerations for Building Your Personal Brand

Creating a personal brand requires extensive self-reflection and introspection. It helps if you know yourself – which surprisingly few people do. Most people find it extremely difficult to describe themselves, can you describe yourself in 3 words? Will those three words get you the job?

Who is your target market, potential employers obviously but what do they want, what problems can you solve for them, can you supply what they are demanding? You Brand needs to appeal to your targeted clientele.

Ultimately you want to build a reputation as a somebody who delivers what potential employers need, a promise, “Choose me and you will get……”

Nowadays, you can’t ignore the importance of social media. Part of your personal branding should include having social media accounts where your potential employers spend their time. If you really want to run a Facebook account just for your friends and family, you should consider setting up a separate one in a different name for this, keep your Personal Brand professional, different messages create doubt in employers minds and that is the death march to a personal brand.

Be Consistent

You want your personal branding to be consistent. At all times you want to stay true to your brand.

The secret of successful personal branding is an underlying consistency. You are trying to establish an external depiction of “you.” This means that you need to act consistently with that depiction.

This is not just a matter of you consistently behaving in a way that matches your portrayal – although that is important. It also includes factors more reflective of business branding. You will want to decide on a consistent colour scheme and fonts. And you will want to use this colour and fonts everywhere. They should be the same on your website, social accounts, business cards and anything else you have that is printed. You want your whole public image to match the persona of your personal brand.

The Personal Brand YOU, Unique Personal Branding

This programme above (you can access it here) is a step by step programme that guides you in developing a Personal Brand that will help you identify your dream job and create a brand that focuses you on achieving it.

The elements of the programme include:

  1. Personal Impact
  2. Talents
  3. Values
  4. Your USP

Above all else, though, you do want your personal brand to be authentic and you will have to adapt how to market to match your target audience perceptions, wants and needs, but it needs to be genuine. It is not hard to spot a fake person, trying to sell a lie.

Your brand is being built whether you’re doing the building or not!

Your brand is nothing less than your reputation; the mental shorthand people use when they think of you. Define it well, earn it diligently and promote it tastefully and you will have an asset that pays dividends over a lifetime.

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