“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” You’ve heard it countless times, but never has personal branding, or “self-packaging,” mattered more than in today’s world of instant marketing and social media. Your physical appearance, knowledge, skill and the way you present and market yourself create an impression that can have a major affect on both you as an employee and the company for which you work.
Whether you’re already employed or are on the hunt for a new job, it’s important to always present yourself as a professional business leader. With the advent of social media, there is a great opportunity to manage and control the perceptions and feelings others have about you online as well as in real life. The perception others have of you affects your ability to get a new job, and can also affect how your current employer views you.
Managing your personal PR and image is just as important for you as it for a company. Create a quick, simple and memorable statement that best represents you and what you have to offer. Once that is created, ensure everything you do is inline with it, online or in-person. Your brand will follow you.
Here are some tips for creating your personal brand:
1. Consider how you make people feel, how others benefit by working with you and the words others use to describe you (e.g. Dedicated, organized, confident).
2. Next, parlay your responses to the first question into a description by considering your particular field or industry, the words you would use to describe your work and your target audience (e.g. Name your industry – “marketing” or “education,” or your skills – “creative” or “analytical”).
3. What services do you have to offer? What do you do that makes you stand out from others? This can be a particular skill related to your career, like graphic design. Or, it can be more general if you’re a manager or artist.
4. Take a look at your list of words and combine them to create a short sentence or phrase of no more than five words. For example, you might be a “dedicated, creative writer.”
Use your new mantra to build your online brand and live it in your everyday life. No matter what field you’re in, personal branding is essential to your success as well as the success of the company for which you work.