Landing the job of your dreams can often seem a million miles away, and when today’s employers seem to expect the impossible from you, it can be tempting to settle for a job rather than put yourself out there. After all, what’s the point in going for a position you’re not impeccably qualified for?
If your answer was – ‘there is none’ you couldn’t be more wrong. You’re not failing to get the job because you lack experience, you’re failing because you cannot sell yourself and get hired ANYWAY. In other words, you are lacking a personal brand.
An individual without a personal brand suffers a huge detriment to their career. Because in order to take your work to the next level it is crucial.
But what is a personal brand? A personal brand is a marketing strategy, used by individuals to showcase an appealing impression of themselves to others, and stand out from the crowd. This may include stories and experiences that express who you are, what you can do and how this makes you an asset to your employer.
Linda Raynier, successful careers advisor for experienced professionals, emphasises that a personal brand can benefit both you, and potential employers, by providing exactly what they’re looking for, “As an employer, what do you think they’d want from someone who was a perfect candidate for the position? They would want someone who can demonstrate who they are, what they’re capable of and what makes them valuable”.
It’s time to change your attitude, begin to think of your resume and interviews as tools that articulate your personal brand; and bear in mind the fundamental rule that authenticity is key.
Benefits of building a brand are plastered all over the internet, but knowing some practical steps to begin will set you on the path to success:
- Exploit social media. When you achieve something, show it off! This brand is about selling yourself and showcasing your dedication to a community. Post about it on multiple platforms, and do this regularly. This will build your following and nourish your personal brand. Ensure that you align your social media to form a consistent, reliable image that encourages potential employers to place their confidence in you.
- Don’t be something you’re not. Being yourself is what makes you unique, and being unique is what makes you stand out. If you’re looking for a job, be vocal! You may find opportunities presenting themselves to you where they otherwise wouldn’t. Trying to appear a perfectly polished and professional specimen is an illusion that employers will see straight through. Certainly use this as a foundation, but hobbies, quirks and mannerisms is what makes you memorable.
- Get involved! Engage in the community you wish to be involved in, whether it’s groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, or related discussions on Twitter. Never be afraid to share your opinion, put yourself out there, and reach out to professionals, because you never know who’s watching.
- Know your market inside out. Creativity and a fresh outlook will get you noticed, but this stems from a deeper understanding of your market. If you remain flexible to new ideas and processes, you’ll always be one-step ahead of the competition.
A personal brand will emphasise what you have to offer, how valuable you are and what you will be able to accomplish, giving you a specific networking power! People are always on the lookout for individuals with a confident and positive attitude; and should you be successful, employers will want YOU and your days of chasing a seemingly impossible dream will be far behind you.