May 4, 2014

The One Thing You Must Have: A Personal Brand

What is a brand? Coke, Nike, Apple. Why not you? Your personal brand is an important part of your professional life. Whether you know it or not, you already have a personal brand that defines who you are and what you do. You just need to market it.

Think of yourself as a business. With every business, you need to manage how you are viewed by your audience and how you market your skills. This branding establishes your reputation, credibility, and helps with professional advancement. That’s what personal branding in. How are you going to create a brand that focuses entirely on you? Your personal brand needs to determine who you are, where you want to go, and what makes you stand out.

According to one website, the best way to determine your personal brand is to ask 3 questions:

  • What Do You Stand For?
  • What Makes You Stand Out?
  • What Makes You Compelling?

To determine your personal brand, you need to decide what you want to accomplish, create strong relationships, and be able to share your ideas. Then package it so that you offer a consistence voice and message across all of your professional and personal mediums (web presence, business cards, professional experience, blogs, social media outlets, etc.).

The idea is to make people associate your name with a specific thing. It could be rock climbing, nanny skills, or graphic design. Your audience needs to see it on your business cards, when they Google you, as they surf through your blog, and when they look over your resume. All of this branding makes it easy to distinguish your unique qualities and skills. This way they know you are the real deal.

How will you create a personal brand? Most people start with a web presence. A solid web presence (LinkedIn, Blog, Facebook, Website) is a great idea because in the job hunt you will be Googled. (Be sure to clean up your online profiles!) Next join associations that match your interests and brand. Create business cards that use the same theme. Finally, go out and network your brand. Market it and be proud of it. It is who you are.

Ultimately, your personal brand will help you get a job. It will make you create a web presence, focus your skills, define what makes you stand out, and market yourself. When you brand yourself it will help you have a better understanding of you.

It’s up to you to determine how big you want your personal brand to be. Are you going to be Oprah or are you going to be Jane the knitting fanatic? Your personal brand will be a major factor in landing you your next job. When your ready, start your job search on JobMonkeyJobs.

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