To some candidates, personal branding might not be the most important factor during a job search.
Most candidates might be asking, “why bother curating a personal brand?” As job seekers, we believe that the basic requirements needed for a career to materialize is a compelling resumé and an impressive work history.
But believe it or not, that is not all!
The rapid technological development and advancement today have transformed the way people behave and consume information.
Everything can be easily procured online! Having an established personal and professional brand contributes to more conversion with online activity. Whether the objective is more engagement or getting your phone to ring with more job offers.
What is a Personal Brand?
But before we dive into the different ways to create a personal brand. We must ask ourselves, “what is a brand?”. Every successful trade—whether in business or career—has it.
But the best way to describe a brand would be — an explicit identifier of what or who you are.
When you think of a high-end, innovative, quality computer system, who do you think of? If you think of couture, high-fashion, expensive, who's the first designer that comes to mind?
If you were to stay at a world-class, luxurious, five-star accommodation, which hotel chain would you choose?
Our answers are Apple, Chanel, Ritz-Carlton.
It is easy for us as consumers to identify the above brands due to their strong personal branding. A personal brand is your reputation. It helps recruiters or hiring managers get to know you beyond your resumé and LinkedIn profile.
In a world where all it takes is a smartphone, internet connection, and an alluring photo, everyone can easily have a brand or a reputation, albeit not a unique one. Having a personal brand can drastically help jump-start your career. It may sound intimidating at first, but building an effective personal brand can both be nerve-wracking and fun.
Here are tips to help Singaporean job seekers create a personal brand to help them stand out:
A. Know your brand
And learn to talk about it. If you don't know your branding by heart, it won't be easy to build your personal brand and convince others of your value.
Think of this as the equivalent to the “tell me about yourself” section, during an interview.
Talking about your brand is similar to telling a story. Your brand is the story, and you need to find a way to talk about your brand with your audience.
B. Stand out among the rest
Once you have your personal brand's details and story locked in, it's time to get noticed. If you are new to the practice, you must make an even greater effort to create your brand.
Brand presence is almost useless if there is no brand awareness—i.e., if your target market has no idea about your brand's existence.
C. Keep it real
Behind a successful brand is the audience who rallies behind it.
This is why it is important to be your real and genuine self. If you're someone who advocates for a plastic-free lifestyle, include it in your brand.
Do you enjoy just staying at home on your days off instead of socializing? Talk about it.
Include bits about you that others can relate to. Being honest and genuine about yourself is an opportunity to connect with your audience and engage with them, too.
People connect with others better when they can relate to each other. And your best bet is being yourself.
D. Generate a strong online presence
The most effective way to create brand awareness is to have a robust online presence and leave digital footprints loyal to your brand. Curating relevant content for your audience is a great way to reinforce your online presence and engage with your followers.
This can range from original content, reposts, blogs or articles, or a strong visual that will appeal to your target audience. However, as with everything online, choose your content with caution.
According to the Professional Resumé Writers article “LinkedIn Best Practices,” everything you have online represents your brand and, therefore, affects your online image and reputation. Extra care is to be put in place, and it's best to avoid posting about sensitive topics unless this is part of your brand and niche.
E. Curate a clear positioning statement
Every brand needs a positioning statement. A positioning statement is the equivalent of a resumé's professional objective. It's a clear and brief paragraph that gives reasons why you are a far better choice than the others.
Like anything worth procuring, your brand needs to have value, and a concise positioning statement helps to substantiate that.
F. Take a digital marketing class or crash course
Maximizing your online presence and ensuring your brand reaches the most people and the right audience involves technical expertise in digital marketing. Whether it's using the right SEO-friendly keywords, analyzing your audience's online behavior, or knowing when to boost your posts, it's smart to invest in a digital marketing course or whatever course you may need to optimize your brand's presence and engagement.
G. Routinely evaluate your brand as you go along
Your brand is your number one asset and a powerful one at that. Building a brand is a collaborative and evolving process, and having an established brand is half the battle. The rest is ensuring that as you grow and develop as an individual, your brand isn't left behind.
See? Building a personal brand is really not as complicated as you might think. If you're active on social media, you have been unconsciously building a brand based on the content you've posted.
Go through your Instagram or Facebook and ask yourself what the general theme is of your posts. What has gotten the most engagement? That's a snippet in personal branding and crossing it over as a professional advantage.
What are some interesting ways to create the best personal branding?
Do share them with us in the comments!
This article was contributed by Sheila Wilson for BGC Group.