In today’s day and age, success will not come after being another face in the crowd. You need an identity, to know who you are and what you can offer that’s better than anyone else. And, once you find it, you need to understand the right way to present yourself to the world and to your future employers. How you sell yourself is crucial to receiving more opportunities, so you should learn to do a marketing campaign that focuses on you.
You’re not a company, though, you’re a person. You don’t have a wealthy budget or a team to handle your advertising campaign. Perhaps all of that is true, but what you do have is an extensive knowledge of yourself and who you are. No one can know that better than you. And when you do, you’re well on your way to building on your personal brand.
Personal branding is a representation of yourself and, in the words of John Jantsch, the founder of Duct Tape Marketing, it’s “the art of becoming knowable, likeable, and trustable”. There are numerous guides out there on how to create your very own personal brand, but the truth is a bit easier and perhaps a little frightening. Whether you like it or not, you already have a personal brand.
Internet services have bloomed and, with them, social media has become one of the main things that show who we are. Whether you are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, blogs, or any other online application, you have a digital footprint that will be used to determine your image. Your name is out there and Google will be able to find some information on you. That means that your employers will too.
That is why it’s very important to take care of who they see. It’s up to you, and apparently not a lot of people understand the significance of managing your digital footprint. In fact, around 60% of all adults have declared themselves unconcerned with the amount of information the internet has on them. If you want to properly create a personal brand, you should be part of the other 40% who do manage their online identity and take concrete steps towards improving it.
There are numerous factors you should take into consideration, all of which represent your personal brand:
- Cover letters
- Business cards
- Blog/personal website
- Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
- Online activity
It cannot be underlined enough that potential employers will be looking for your digital footprint. But will they not take into consideration that CV you’ve worked on so hard? They will, but that’s a mere list of qualities you want to show and things you’ve achieved. Personal branding is more important, and here’s why.
Who You Are
A curriculum vitae (CV) or a resume is a reflection of what you did and what image you want to portray. It may not always be honest, and many of us have heard of lies spread across that piece of paper that reaches a potential employer. Personal branding, on the other hand, is much more genuine. There is no hiding and it’s the perfect way to showcase your interests, your values, and your mentality through clear and concise examples.
All you need to do is be yourself. You need to, because everyone else is taken.
Not About What You Did, But What You’re Doing Now
A personal brand can be consistently updated and can be present on all existing platforms. It’s the perfect example of what you are doing right now, and it highlights your current activities better. On a CV, you will spend a significant amount of time talking about your past, schools, courses, and other diplomas that are gracing your walls. However, your interests might have changed through the years and your personal brand is a reflection of that.
You can limit the information and keep it as current as possible. A personal brand will allow you to focus your energy, because you also won’t need to work as much on your decisions. Which opportunities will you take and which will you reject? Once you have your personal brand and know who you are and what you want to do, it will be much easier to decide.
Your skills alone are not a hiring standard. Most job industries are now looking to hire your image as well, so it’s important to show them exactly what that means. However, always remember that you need to deliver on what you promise.
Shines a Spotlight on Your Strengths
Shouldn’t a CV do that? It should, but as much as you want it to, it will never showcase your specialty as your personal brand does. As a person, you are unique. You have a personal set of characteristics, work experience and life experiences that separate you from the rest of the world. Your CV is not your novel, but your personal brand may, at the very least, represent a few important chapters of your life.
It can focus on your specialty and place it exactly where you want it: at the front. You want to be known for a certain niche and boast of your expertise as well as proving it at the same time. Develop your personal branding and it will be the perfect way of making others turn to you for answers. Picture it as the TV spot for who you are.
People Working With People
Have you ever worried that someone with the exact same qualifications as you is applying for the same job? You were probably right. Employers get hundreds of CVs tossed on their desk, and not all of them will be unique. That’s where personal brand can be your saver, because it will successfully show the world everything they need to know.
It’s build by people with other people, which establishes exceptional credibility. What connections you have made and how others respond to you is a reflection of both who you are and who you can be. Personal branding adds that much-needed human touch to the objectivity of a CV that should represent you. After all, how you work with other people will be paramount to your path in life.
An Imprint of Yourself on The Digital Age
Memorability is an incredibly important factor of personal branding. It can set you aside from the crowd and create an actual legacy that will live on far longer than you will. Consider celebrities and politicians, all of which have created an image of themselves for those who never personally met them. Think of people like Sir Richard Branson or Oprah. Their success is not written on their CV. They have a strong personal brand that expresses more credibility and allure than any resume ever could.
The Emotional Touch
Your CV is an objective representation of what you did and who you want others to think you are, but your personal brand is a brilliant way of targeting your audience. You can receive support and incredible feedback on the amazing job you’re doing. You can send your message to the right people and build solid relationships, which are ultimately stronger through emotional connection.
If you understand your audience, then you can create a better personal brand, which in turn will aid you in evolving and learning. Time and experience will make it stronger. You will develop more confidence from developing your personal brand by knowing better who you are and seeing how others react to it.
It’s perhaps scary to think that many of these factors have already started because you are part of the digital age. The cogs have already started to turn. However, the beauty of it is that it’s never too late. Do some research, Google yourself, find out what your personal brand is and understand how others have been seeing you until now.
It can tell you much more than your CV because it adds your unique touch. Search, craft, develop, and show everyone who you are and what you can do.