Brand Yourself For Your Career
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When you hear about branding, you usually look at things like branding a business and not yourself. However, when you are on a job hunt, it is important that you create and build your brand. This is how you will sell yourself to those who are interviewing you. Branding is the first step in the career planning process and the most successful candidates have their brand and a solid plan before they even start to send out their resume. This will give you a leg up on the competition and will help you to stand out amongst the other candidates.
What is Branding for Your Career
When you are creating a brand for your career, you are establishing your reputation and your image. When you present your brand to a potential employer, you are presenting a promise that you will do your job to the highest level. You will create a list of your characteristics and constantly work to further strengthen these to set you apart from the rest of the applicants. When you are working on your career brand, you will include multiple important elements, including:
b) Key accomplishments
d) Technical expertise
Building your brand is the first step, however, you must also ensure that you can live up to your brand. This means that you must be realistic when you are creating things that will impact your reputation and your image.
Shaping and Managing Your Brand
You essentially have to research yourself when you are building your career brand. You also need to know about the other information that is out in cyberspace about you. For example, you may have old social media accounts that do not paint you in a professional light. Do the following to see what potential employers can see:
a) Go to your preferred search engine and type in your name. Make sure to use all of the variations that you have used since your time on the Internet so that you get the full picture.
b) Review your profile on all professional networking sites to ensure that everything is current and accurate.
c) Look at your active social media profiles to make sure that there is nothing unprofessional.
d) Close all of the social media profiles that you no longer use.
e) If you have a blog or website, be mindful of how people see this site and the content on it.
After you know what is there, take note of what is missing. For example, if you work in the arts, creating an online portfolio is a quick and easy way to showcase your talents. You simply provide potential employers with a link so that they can see your work. Getting involved on a professional social network like LinkedIn can also be helpful because it allows you to network with people in your industry.
Why Career Branding is Important
Career branding is not a new concept, but today's technology makes it more important than ever before. Since it is so easy to get information about people these days, you want to make sure that your online reputation is both real and free of unprofessionalism. You want your brand to be positive and an honest representation of you. This allows you the chance to promote yourself on the Internet so that you can network and expose yourself to opportunities you may not find otherwise.
The most important thing to remember is that your brand has to make you stand out. This can be hard because there is a lot of competition in today's job market. The easiest way to do this is to ensure that your brand is honest and constantly updated to reflect your most recent accomplishments.
If you look at the products that have the best following, you will see that they have a brand that people recognize. When you are building your brand, you can look at companies like Apple to see what they have done to solidify and identify themselves to the market. Of course, your branding efforts will be on a much smaller scale, but the premise is the same. When you are building your brand, make sure that you are paying special attention to the job market, average salaries in the market and ways to promote yourself so that employers can find you.
- Rosemary Kitchen
QuintCareers. (2015). Career Branding Tutorial: Take Your Career to the Next Level. Retrieved on March 2, 2015 from http://www.quintcareers.com/career_branding_tutorial/