Have you ever heard of the term ‘personal branding’ before? If you’re thinking about entering the workforce, it might be worth having a think about how you want to brand yourself as an employee. Are you a collaborative team player; an independent high achiever; an inspirational team leader?
March 2021 – 3 minute read
What’s in this article:
- What is personal branding?
- Why is personal branding important?
- How to brand yourself
- LinkedIn Profile Tips
- Other Personal Branding Tips
- Starting out in the workplace
There’s plenty of benefits to building your personal brand and it’s easier to do than you think.
What is personal branding?
Much like a business or any type of organisation, we have a brand. Whether you want to or not, this brand dictates the way we are perceived and the impressions we leave on those around us.
An individual’s personal brand is largely based on their experiences, actions, personality, achievements, and competencies. Your personal brand isn’t exclusive to your professional life either. While you may choose to present yourself differently outside of work, the way you are perceived privately still dictates your personal brand.
The practice of building a personal brand is generally focused on your workplace or chosen industry. Through intentional effort and conscious actions, we have the ability to alter perceptions of ourselves in an effort to boost our reputation, our credibility, and to help us stand out from the crowd.
Why is personal branding important?
The concept of personal branding is a growing phenomenon and it’s now more important than ever.
The most important reason to build your personal brand is to stand out.
Depending on your industry and position, you may be competing with hundreds of other candidates for the same role. Do you want to be just another resume in the pile, or do you want to stand out and shine amongst the competition?
A positive personal brand will open up a lot of doors as well. It may lead to speaking arrangements at industry events, job offers, promotions, networking opportunities and more. With effective personal branding, your industry is your oyster.
Lastly, it inspires trust, builds your credibility and enhances your reputation. Clients or colleagues will listen to you more attentively and your opinions will carry more weight.
How to brand yourself
If you want to begin building your personal brand, a good place to start is social media.
Most employers will search for you on social media during the interview process so it’s important to make sure whatever they find leaves a good and lasting impression. Make sure you don’t have any inappropriate photos on Facebook or Instagram or if you want to keep your private life private, make sure that it’s not visible to anyone who might be looking.
If you aren’t already on LinkedIn, then now is the perfect time.
LinkedIn Profile Tips
LinkedIn is the perfect medium to help establish yourself in your industry and to start building your brand.
If you want to build your personal brand via LinkedIn, it’s important that you do it properly. Here are 5 tips to help you get started.
1. Make sure your profile picture is professionally taken and current
Your profile picture is almost always your first impression online, so you want to make sure it’s a good one.
2. Put some work into your summary
Your LinkedIn profile summary is going to be the first thing people read when they land on your profile so make sure it draws them in. It should act like a personal brand statement – what motivates you, what are your ambitions, and how can you bring something unique to your employer. Consider your past experiences and skillsets to bring your summary to life and tell a story.
This is what LinkedIn is all about, networking. Find people you know and start connecting with them.
4. Be active
Whether it’s liking or commenting on colleagues’ posts or writing your own, it’s important to remain active and get your name out there.
5. Follow relevant influencers
Look to follow influencers and people of note from your industry. This is an invaluable way to stay on top of all the latest trends and news. It will also allow you to add value during any workplace discussions.
Other Personal Branding Tips
1. Be Genuine
The most important aspect of a personal brand is that it’s personal. There’s no faking it because you will slip up sooner or later. It’s important that you’re genuine and true to yourself and let the best aspects of your personality show.
There’s no faking it till you make it with this one.
2. Be consistent
It’s important to remain consistent with your brand as this will reinforce the image that you are trying to portray.
3. It won’t happen overnight
There are no shortcuts to building a brand.
Remember the aim of the game is to shape people’s perceptions of you into the best possible outcome.
This takes time.
4. Remain Positive
Remember your personal brand is forever, not just at one place.
If you leave for another opportunity within your industry, your brand goes with you.
The last thing you want is to have a reputation that could negatively affect any opportunities that might be coming your way. Always stay positive and empathetic when working closely with others.
5. Keep Learning
One of the most important parts of having a successful brand in your industry is being knowledgeable about the industry itself. It’s important that you constantly keep learning about any updates or new technology in your field so you can continue to provide value in your workplace. If you’re feeling confident, you can share opinion pieces about industry news on your LinkedIn, to establish a presence in the professional sphere.
Starting out in the workplace
If you’re entering the workforce for the first time, you might want to think about checking out our resources for youth starting out in the workplace.
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Things you should know
This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
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