Are you someone who thinks personal branding is not for you because it's all about self-promotion, and you never liked tooting your own horn, or people who do?
Besides, you say to yourself, branding is for products. You're not a "brand," you're a person, right?
You may not like to think of yourself as a "brand," but you do already have a brand, whether or not you choose to take control of it.
Instead of dismissing personal branding as merely ego-stroking, think of it as educating people about who you are and what you have to offer.
With so much misinformation about personal branding bombarding us across social media, you may have read otherwise, but the concept of personal branding in job search is really quite simple.
Personal branding is about defining and knowing what makes you unique and valuable to the employers you're targeting, and clearly communicating your value proposition and good-fit qualities for your target employers when you network and interview for jobs.
If you've done the back-end personal branding work (see: 10 Steps to an Authentic, Magnetic Personal Brand), here's what your brand will do for you:
10 Things Your Personal Brand Will Do For You
1. Help you reconnect with your vision for the world, personal purpose, values, and passions so you can move toward career fulfillment.
2. Empower you to gain clarity about your authentic self and the talents, skills, strengths, and areas of expertise that make you unique and valuable in the marketplace.
3. Force you to be introspective and reflective, and to examine (and improve, when possible) the weaknesses that may be holding you back.
4. Help you identify good-fit target employers and your competition in the marketplace, and create personal marketing materials (resume, biography, LinkedIn profile, website, online portfolio, etc.) designed to resonate with those employers and differentiate you from competitors.
5. Help you assess the personal attributes and qualities that make you a good culture-fit for your target employers.
6. Propel you to solicit feedback from those who know your value best (peers, management, staff, employees, clients, mentors), helping you understand the true measure of your brand -- how you're perceived by the external world.
7. Generate chemistry and excitement about you as a candidate through written and verbal brand messaging that has personality, and gives a feel for the kind of person you are and how you make things happen.
8. Lead you to create your personal marketing-communications plan, embracing the 3 C's of personal branding (health insurance for your career):
- Clarity: Be clear about who you are, who you are not, who your competitors are, and who your target audience is.
- Consistency: Consistently express the same personal brand message, designed to resonate with your target audience, across all communications channels you decide to use.
- Constancy: Memorable brands are always visible to their target audience. Proactively stay top of mind with them through social media, real-life networking, and all other personal marketing efforts.
9. Help you establish yourself as the "go-to" person for your industry thought leadership and subject-matter expertise.
10. Help you clearly communicate your value proposition and good-fit for your target employers when you network and interview for jobs, boosting your chances of landing the job you want or advancing your career.
This article is part of Job Action Day 2012.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker's Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Enhance your career brand! Find great articles, tools, and resources for developing your personal career brand, as well as key self-marketing techniques to get hired or promoted in our Personal Branding & Career Self-Marketing Tools for Job-Seekers and Career Activists.