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A Personal Brand and Why Every Job Seeker Needs One

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Hiring managers and recruiters receive large amounts of job applications, so it is essential for job seekers to stand out from the crowd in order to be considered for a position. Your personal brand  is how you market yourself to others. You are your own brand. Think of yourself as a solution to a problem your potential employer is having. Your goal is to make sure that your customer (potential employer) is aware what you can do for them. It will take commitment and hard work, but once in place, will demonstrate your accomplishments and portfolio in a publicly available digital format.

  • Know your career and personal goals: Before you can brand yourself effectively to a potential employer, you need to identify your goals and what you would like to achieve. Then make sure to brand and portray yourself accordingly both on social media and on your resume.
  • Identify your best skills: What are your best skills and unique values? Ask others, compare and include on your resume. Get a good grasp of your strengths that make up your personal brand. Your personal branding is externally focused, so the way you view your strengths and weaknesses may differ from how others perceive you and what you have to offer an employer. A great way to find out is to put together a list of friends, co-workers, clients and professional connections and send them a web based assessment of your strengths, weaknesses and skills.
  • Establish or update your social media presence: You need to think of social media as a branding process too. Whether you like it or not, employers will check your social media, so be careful and strategical about what and where you post. What type of image do you want to project to future employers? Get honest feedback from people who don’t know you. Ask them what their impression is of you based on what they see on your social media pages. Also be conscious about what kind of photos you use on your profiles. Your picture needs to reflect the role you’d like to step up to.
  • Branch out and be consistent: Don’t just use one platform. Use several online networks that are a good fit to promote your personal brand such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. Make sure to be consitent. Having a professional LinkedIn page while your other networks are full of party pictures will send the wrong message and turn employers off. While resumes and cover letters are hard to humanize and convey who you are as a person, using applicable social media networks and online platforms the right way can help you convey your personality and who you are as a person to a potential employer.

With all the resumes that hiring managers and recruiters receive, it is hard to stand out from the crowd. Most resumes and cover letters will say the same thing; “hard working”, “detail oriented” etc. By understanding your goals, skills, strengths and weaknesses you can more effectively advertise yourself to potential employers and build a personalized brand that creates an image of hard work, success, knowledge, expertise and potential.

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