Why is personal branding important and how will it help my career?
Did you know, since the year 2000 attention spans have decreased by 25%? This means gaining the attention of potential employers is even harder for jobseekers. This is why personal branding is important as it can really give your career a boost. It allows employers to see the real you which builds trust, credibility and confidence in your ability.
Find out what personal branding is and the reasons why it’s
What is personal branding?
When you think about branding, I bet your first thought is that a brand is a company and what you associate with that company? You’re not wrong however in recent years the same theories behind company brands can be applied to people.
Personal branding has shaped how we think about celebrities,
politicians and has even helped ordinary people rise to fame as branding
Just like companies, branding helps shape people’s
perceptions of you through your opinions, ambitions, the way you look, how you
communicate, act and treat others. It’s packaging your best bits and telling it
as a story to differentiate yourself from others.
Now you may think that your CV is enough to cover the points
made above but your personal brand is online as well as offline. Yes it
includes your CV but also your social media accounts, how you respond to
emails, talk on the phone and when you meet people face to face at networking
events or interviews for example. It encompasses everything you do.
In a nutshell you can form the way you want people to see
So why is personal branding important?
Builds trust and credibility
Trust is built on getting to know the real you. Your
personal brand will showcase your motivations, ambitions and what you believe
in. If potential employers understand this, they will get a clearer picture
about who you are and if you are someone they’d like to hire.
Credibility demonstrates your expertise and willingness to
self-develop. It can be built through the actions you have taken to achieve
your goals, mentoring others and making a difference. Shouting about this
online, on your CV and when you speak to employers will help build credibility.
Develops your network and opens doors
The more employers see and hear about you, the more you are
likely to be offered:
Jobs that may never have been advertised or you
may never have heard about
Jobs that could be created just for you
Opportunities to use your expertise to help
others (which will further build your credibility and network)
Furthermore, it’s not just about developing your offline network. Did you know 56% of employers won’t consider you for roles without an online presence? By using online platforms to your advantage, you can show employers more than just your image and online work history.
It shows the authentic you
The one thing you can’t do with personal branding is fake it and you definitely can’t buy it! But this is a good thing, it means you can’t be anything other than authentic, it comes from the heart and is driven by the things you are passionate about such as your goals, morals and values. It could emphasise the type of company you want to work for.
Imagine if an employer had loads of great CVs, including yours but had to shortlist them. If your personal brand was showcased elsewhere other than your CV, the employer could see you’re being authentic and is more likely to ask you in for an interview.
Example of personal branding
In 2010, Leonard Kim was homeless and unknown online. Now he is recognised as one of the top digital youth marketers by Forbes and has over 500,000 followers on Twitter.
Leonard didn’t achieve success by just showcasing what he does, he got there by telling his story. As a result of sharing his experience and what he learnt on the way, it made him stand out. The thing that made him stand out the most was, he talked about the mistakes he had made rather than what he did well.
He was being honest, this meant people could relate to him
which built trust and credibility. He made people realise, it’s OK to discuss
your downfalls online if you can learn from them.
By sharing his story and building a network of people he’d
never met, people then approached him to write for their magazine, speak at
conferences and work at their company.
How can you build your personal brand?
To develop your personal brand you need to take steps to
understand what story you want to share with people.
Understand what your key strengths are by assessing your skills, experiences and qualities
What are your goals (i.e where do you see yourself in 1 years’ time, 5 years’ time etc. or what sort of company do you want to work for)
What are you passionate about (do you want things to change in your industry, do you want business as a whole to work together to save the environment)
Most importantly, rememberOnce you have a good idea about who you are and what you’re trying to achieve you can start to shout about it.
Ways to promote your personal brand
Like, share and comment on posts from your
social media account about things related to your goals and passions
Create your own posts (including video posts)
voicing your own opinions and sharing your own knowledge
Attend networking events
Write posts about the topics you’re passionate
about or the industry you’re in
Offer to attend schools, colleges and
universities to share your career experiences
Attend industry events or become involved in
action groups related to your passion
Hopefully that has given you an introduction to personal
branding and how it can help you. Watch out for a more in depth post about how
to build your personal brand. If you want to hear about this first, make sure
you subscribe at the bottom of the screen.
Rebecca Crowther is a Marketing Executive for ASC Connections. Her love for writing started when she was young. In her current role, she loves creating content to support candidates on their career journey and help clients hire talented indviduals.