What is Personal Branding, Anyway?

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Personal branding is a term we hear a lot about, but many people don’t understand what is really is. It’s an item on many of our to-do-lists, but we often never get around to fully exploring its meaning and how to use it to our advantage.

This article explores some Frequently Asked Questions about personal branding and addresses a simple technique you can use right now to get started!

So what is personal branding, anyway? The definition is simpler than you might think:

Personal branding is the process of people marketing themselves, their skills, and their careers as brands.

It is an ongoing process of creating a prescribed impression or image in the minds of others. Essentially, your brand is a perception or emotion that describes the experience of knowing you and working with you.

Is Branding Just For Businesses or Executives?

Definitely not!

When we look at brand management as part of marketing, we know that it’s a powerful and effective marketing tool for companies. It’s also used for people, and the ones you most often hear about tend to be rich and famous. Think about successful business people and celebrities. They all tend to have a “brand image” that we associate with them.

How Can I Use Personal Branding to Further My Career?

Every stage of the job application process and your career trajectory involves marketing.

Resume: A resume is a marketing product that sells YOU. As a potential employee, your resume should highlight your experience, skills, knowledge, and education to demonstrate why you are the best fit for the job.

Interview: The interview stage requires you to sell yourself in-person. You need to expand the employer’s perspective beyond the resume, communicating why you’re the best person for the role. You need to expand on your background, skills, and education and provide examples that show why you’re the best fit. Most people have more than one interview before landing the job, so every interview is an opportunity to demonstrate your personal brand to the company.

LinkedIn Page & Online Presence: Your online presence in general (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) will also help define and support your own personal brand. An employer might search your online presence at some point during the interview process or even after you’ve been hired. Any public online profiles should be consistent with your own personal brand.

Career & Leadership Development: We are consistently growing in our careers. Your persona at work will assist in communicating and maintaining your personal brand. The relationships you build with colleagues, management, customers, and clients will influence your ability to be assigned to projects, earn promotions, and progress into leadership positions.

Personal Branding Sounds Like a Lot of Work, Doesn’t It?

The answer is Yes! It’s a lot of work and a tiring process. It’s especially hard when you aren’t passionate about your current role or unhappy with the organization you’re working for (which tends to be all too common these days). Working on your own personal brand when you aren’t feeling thrilled about your own career prospects is especially tough.

The good news is it’s relatively simple to think about your own personal brand and define it in relation to your job search.

How To Get Started

One of the key concepts to help define your own brand is to identify your own Unique Selling Propositions or USPs.

A unique selling point is a marketing term used to define the qualities and factors presented by a seller as the reason that a product or service stands apart and is better than the competition.

In a job search, “the competition” is other applicants for the position. Think about the following questions:

  • What education, skills, and experience do other candidates have?
  • What education, skills, and experience do I have?
  • How do I differ from the other candidates?
  • What benefits do I have to offer an employer?
  • What positively sets me apart from other candidates?

Interested in learning more? I offer one-on-one coaching sessions to help job seekers develop their own personal brand. Check out more information on my services here: http://flourishcareerconsulting.com/demo-home/for-individuals/

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