You’ve put a lot of hard work into your resume. It’s slick, polished, and professional. But what do you do if you’re competing with dozens of other candidates with equally impressive-looking applications?
Hiring managers have to go through dozens of applications every day when they’re looking to fill a position at their company. And while a standout summary, qualifications, and experience can make a huge difference, sometimes you need a little extra something to really get ahead.
That’s where personal branding comes in. While you may be the best fit for the job, saying it outright in a resume summary doesn’t always come across well. Having a personal brand gives you the freedom to highlight how fantastic you are without sounding like you’re showing off.
Cultivating a personal brand isn’t an overnight project. It’s a long-term process that will keep evolving as your career matures and grows. But don’t worry, getting started on creating a personal brand doesn’t have to be hard. It just takes a little commitment and a few inside tips on how to do it strategically.
Take your resume to the next level with this easy guide to personal branding.
What Is Personal Branding?
There’s a lot of talk about personal brands, but the definition isn’t always clear. Essentially, a personal brand is how you present yourself to your employers, online. It’s built step-by-step with every public-facing action that you take. Every blog post, LinkedIn update and social media network’s profile picture is a great opportunity to tell these hiring managers a little bit more about yourself.
Perks of a Personal Brand
The best part of having a personal brand is that you can take full control of it to accomplish what you want. You can dictate what you sound like, how you react to situations, and what your strongest attributes are, in a natural way, instead of just listing them off in a resume summary
When employers research your brand, they’ll know what type of employee you are and what you’re like to work with. They’ll be comfortable taking the next step in the hiring process with you, because they’ll be confident that they know exactly who they’re hiring.
So, how do you create a natural-feeling, consistent personal brand?
Four Easy Steps to Guide Your Personal Branding
1. Establish Your Vision
Creating a personal brand requires a vision. This end goal of who you want to be will guide your actions so that you and your brand are consistent, appealing and makes sense to your employers.
When you’re establishing a vision, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is my ideal employer?
- What type of employee do I want to be?
- What industry do I want to work in?
- What skills, values and experiences do I want to show off?
2. Plan Out a Strategy
After you’ve established a vision for your personal brand, you need to create a strategy so you can achieve your vision efficiently and effectively. Make sure to write out every step, from the first to the last. It may feel tedious, but being extremely detailed is key to creating a plan that works.
3. Take It One Task at a Time
Once you have a vision and strategy, you’re ready to start working on generating your personal brand. You can do this in many ways, from simply publishing a weekly blog post to printing a business card consistent with your brand values and goals.
Here are some examples of great branding techniques:
- Contributing to online or print publications with helpful articles
- Writing a regularly scheduled blog on your area of expertise
- Dressing and presenting yourself consistently with your brand
- Ensuring that your social network profiles are professional
- Updating your LinkedIn feed with weekly industry insights
- Printing appealing business cards that are coherent with your brand
But remember, you don’t need to complete every task all at once. Being patient is crucial, as the greatest personal brands are the ones that are developed over time.
4. Be Yourself
Finally, pretending to be someone you’re not is exhausting, and doesn’t help you or your potential employer. Check your personal brand periodically to make sure you’re representing yourself fairly and accurately – it will aid you in taking advantage of all your unique skills and abilities that you have to offer!
It’s great that you’re excited to start on your personal branding journey, but have you completed the first step to getting your ideal career? Make sure you have a resume that works by using Resume.com free and premium resume templates. Good luck!