For many job seekers, sending well-worded cover letters and résumés free of typos seems like the best plan for landing that perfect position. But to really stand out in a positive way — and have a better chance at being considered for that dream job — consider how you create your personal brand.
Branding isn’t just for companies. You can build an individual brand that separates you from all the other job seekers out there and highlights your accomplishments, your philosophy and your style. You want would-be bosses to conclude that you’d be a strong addition to the team — that not only do you have the necessary skills, but you would be pleasant to manage and work with.
Who Will See Your Brand?
Start creating your personal branding by determining the audience you’re attracting. During your job search, that’s likely to be your potential employer. Get a good mental image of what that person might be like. What do they do in an average day? What are the problems they face? Marketers call this building a persona, and going through this exercise can really help you put yourself in the shoes of your boss-to-be.
How Can You Build Your Brand?
Start building your brand to incorporate your strengths and personality and showcasing that in package that attracts employers. Here are some areas to focus on.
Your résumé. Does it really tell the story of the impact you have made in your professional life, or is it merely a list of jobs you’ve held? Both on paper and digitally, your résumé is your No. 1 tool for promoting your brand. Update it to tell your story.
Your interview. How can you make sure you’re communicating your brand to another person, especially in the high-pressure environment of a job interview? Work on improving the skills that get you in the running for the position you want.
Your elevator pitch. Can you tell another person quickly and succinctly what you do and how well you do it? Create and practice a short elevator pitch so you can confidently explain your value.
Your digital life. Social media accounts should reflect your personal brand and show that you’re not only professional, but have some personality. Choose platforms that help you communicate with peers as well as potential employers.