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Develop your personal brand
06 April 2017
Think about some brands you like. Why do you choose these brands over others? How do they communicate with you and why do they attract your custom? Every brand exudes a personality that can either attract or exclude you and their ultimate aim is to build brand awareness, instil brand confidence and draw you towards their products or services.
What’s your personal brand?
With your personal brand, you are the ‘product’ that must be marketed. Your personal brand is the package of skills, experience and personality that you must sell to prospective employers during your job search. In essence, it’s your brand management and effective marketing skills that will help you to catch an employer’s eye and help you to become their ‘brand of choice’ (i.e. the successful candidate).
The recruitment market is awash with hundreds of personal brands all vying for attention and competition is fierce. Through your CV and interview, you may only have a short amount of time to sell your personal brand, really make an impact and stand out from the crowd.
How to create a strong personal brand:
1. Identify your target audience
Every brand needs to understand its audience, so it can be targeted in its marketing efforts and speak directly to the people that matter. With that in mind, you must make every effort to fully understand your target audience (your prospective employers). You will need to do your market research and check out their websites, social media channels and any other press about their businesses. Fully acquaint yourself with their business activities, their position in the market and their key competitors. Also, use the job description and person specification as a firm basis for establishing an employer’s needs and wants.
2. Understand the USP of your personal brand
What is your unique selling point? What is it about your employee proposition that makes you a great catch? In a sea of hopeful candidates, you need to promote what it is that makes you special and attractive to a business. Perhaps this is a unique combination of skills and experience or some particular training you’ve undertaken. It could even be your professional expertise combined with your personal interests outside of work. Know what makes you an appealing candidate and market those factors effectively.
Many brands will offer the same service or sell a similar product – but some will just make you want to buy them; they’ll call out to you, they’ll have the edge. You must make yourself the candidate that really shines.
Nobody is solely a collection of technical credentials, so your personality and softer skills need to shine through. Your interests, passions and personal skills are vital components of your personal brand - so don’t forget to market yourself as an interesting, well-rounded individual.
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