What is Personal Branding?
Personal Branding in today’s world is not an option. According to Wikipedia, Personal Branding is defined as “the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands”. If you think your university education alone will get you the job you want, it is time to think again. With an average of 118 people applying for every job, how will you stand out? Your personal brand is your best competitive strategy to stand out and cut through in an over-saturated job market. By being aware of the eight elements that make up your personal brand, you can focus on developing each of them so you can set yourself apart and get the job you want.
8 elements of Personal Branding
- Appearance: This is how you come across non-verbally and takes into account things like your body language, your handshake, how you dress and groom yourself, and also the energy you give off. Present yourself at your best and “think positive” to leave a lasting impression.
- Qualifications: This is your education and the skills that help you to do your job. Having a good education does help, so ensure that you appropriately display your education and your skills on your CV and on your social network presence.
- Achievements: How have you made an impact in the world thus far? What projects were you successful in delivering? Have you won any awards? Completing a degree from a major university will require you to complete assessments and projects. If you are just starting out, focus on what you achieved while at university, and as your career builds, keep notes of achievements so you can use them in future conversations for new roles.
- Passion: What do you love doing? How does it reflect in your work? Is it obvious to others? Employers today are looking to employ team members who have a positive attitude, and if you are doing something you are passionate about, that positive attitude will just flow from you. Learn what you are passionate about and be able to talk about it.
- Value: How do you describe the value you will bring to the company and what will the return be to the company if they employ you? Today’s jobs require more than compliance with the minimum requirements. Top employers want to know what you can do for them, so think about how you deliver value and be prepared to talk about it.
- Reputation: How do others view you? What would your university professor and classmates say about you? What does your LinkedIn profile display? Does it display recommendations from others? When you feel like you have done a great job on a project, ask your teammates and supervisor or professor for a recommendation on LinkedIn so that you can start building a positive social media reputation that will work for you as your career grows.
- Personality: This is a mix of your values, hopes, dreams, identity, behaviour, goals and desires. Are you warm to new people? Do you make an effort to try and connect with new people? In the marketplace today, more companies are looking for transparency and authenticity with their employees, so start sharing your personality with others. This may seem difficult or awkward at first, but once you start, you will see others warm to you and it will become more natural.
- Differentiator: We are all unique in some way. What makes you unique? Research from the Gallup Research Methodology 2013 states, “68% of people won’t make a decision to hire you…because they can’t see the difference between you and the other guy.” Spend some time thinking about this. Once you figure it out, make it easy for others to see how you are unique.
Have you ever thought about your Personal Brand? What will you do first to build your Personal Brand?
Scott Brunelle is a Sales and Marketing Management professional and recently completed his Master of Commerce (Marketing) at the University of Sydney Business School. In the capstone unit, Succeeding in Business (BUSS6000), Dr. Helen Parker organised a guest lecture from Mary van de Wiel on "How to Create a Leadership Brand for the 21C". The information in this blog is based on the content from this lecture.