If you’re an active job seeker or a frequent reader of career blogs, you’ve probably heard the term ‘personal branding’ countless times before. But what is a personal brand really, and how are you supposed to go about creating one, let alone one that’s different than everyone else’s?
first off, what is a personal brand?
Your personal brand combines your skills, strengths and career into a cohesive package that you can use to market yourself to potential employers, clients and others you deal with in the workplace. Like any brand, your personal brand will have unique selling points and be cohesive throughout all aspects of your career.
3 steps to creating a personal brand
If you’re not sure what your personal brand is, these 3 questions are a great starting point to determine what the focus of your brand should be. Remember:
what skills are you proud of?When an interviewer asks you to list your strengths, you probably have a list of skills that you’re proud to share. These strengths are also a great foundation for your personal brand. These skills can be both soft skills and hard skills. For example, as a software developer, you might have an impressive array of coding languages in your arsenal. However, you might also have an eye for design, excel at creating a user-friendly experience, or work really well in an open, collaborative setting.
how are you different?As the saying goes: be yourself, everyone else is taken. Even though you share your job title with thousands of others, you bring your own flair to your job. What makes you different from others who have the same position? For example: does your unique cultural background give you a fresh perspective? Did you study two rarely paired disciplines that give you distinctive insights? Have you worked in a variety of industries, and combined all those viewpoints into yours?
who is your target audience?It’s important to keep in mind that your personal brand isn’t just about you. While you’re certainly the driving force and inspiration behind it, like any good brand, your personal brand has a specific target audience it needs to appeal to in order to be successful. Your target audience is frequently potential employers, though it can also be clients or anyone you interact with in a work capacity. Consider what your target is looking for when developing your personal brand. Are they looking for someone steady and reliable? Creative and able to think out of the box? Someone who push boundaries?
Keeping these 3 questions in mind will help you develop a solid foundation for your brand. That said, creating your personal brand isn’t an overnight process, and it’ll grow and develop as your skills do!