Self-branding isn’t just about making yourself stand out, it also has many other points to consider on how to make yourself the perfect ‘product’. I’m not saying this post will tell you how to turn into a pair of heels, I want to try to help you get recognised for who you are.
Self-branding = Standing out from the crowd + how you are perceived by others
Personal branding (aka self-branding) involves standing out from the crowd, but also how you’re perceived. What people think of you plays a huge role if self-branding. You could have an amazing CV, tons of work experience and may even have won awards, but if someone somewhere thinks you’re difficult to work with, or you were given a stiff reference somewhere down the line, that screws everything right up. Perception sticks in everyone’s mind, once you have a hint of opinion on someone, or something they do, changing your mind will be difficult because that initial perception will always be there.
Point to takeaway from what I’ve just said, make yourself stand out on paper and give a good impression before walking into the room.
How do I brand myself?
Understand your skills and experiences. Figure out how they can be used in one role, then another, then another. Jump from hospitality roles, to financial roles, to healthcare roles.
Imagine yourself as a teacher, do your skills and experience make you teacher of the year?
Now imagine yourself as a bar attendant, how will your work experience in a nursery 7 years ago help you serve customers quickly and efficiently?
Finally, imagine yourself as a TV host, how is volunteering at the homeless shelter going to entertain the audience?
Understanding your skills and how to apply them in different scenarios will help get you ahead of the game. Understand your strengths, utilise them in every way you can. Your experience as a sales assistant will help you as an accountant because you’ll have experience in liaising (no one wants to work all throughout the Christmas and you may have liaised with your manager to work fewer hours).
Weaknesses are just as important as strengths. Use your weakness to your advantage. I don’t mean throw a pity party and beg for the job, no, just no. Don’t even try. I mean turn it around. If you take ages to complete a task, this might be because you’re a perfectionist who has to make sure that the task is exceptionally completed before moving on. If you find yourself to be chatting more than you should, this can show you’re a people person and, building and maintaining customer relations is a piece of cake for you. Are you addicted to twitter? Fantastic, you’re a social media expert, you understand how it works from a customer’s point of view and you’ll be perfect to handle that department. Get where I’m going with this?
Offer others what they’re looking for. Be mouldable (I think that’s a word?). An example I was given in University was to be like plasticine. Shape yourself to fulfil the needs of prospective employers. Research what companies want. Find things that match your skill set and experience and enhance it. Will you fit into the company culture? Why should a company hire you? What is the main reason you want to work for said company? It’s all about selling yourself (not literally, that’s kinda illegal!) and making that perfect impression.
“Privacy is dead, and social media hold the smoking gun.” – Pete Cashmore, Mashable CEO
Are you on Twitter? So am I! (why not give me a follow here!)
Do you rant when you miss your train? Have you shared your opinion on a news article that may have been a tad harsh? Do you swear twice in your 140 character limit?
You may want to check and monitor how you use your account.
Not just twitter, but Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and all other social medias. If you’ve said anything online that could be deemed inappropriate, find it, and delete it. And, don’t do it again. (Feel free to give me a follow on them too guys)
Last Friday night did you drink a tad too much? Did your friend post a super unattractive photo of you on Facebook, tag you in it, and comment on how plastered you got that you had to miss work the next day?
Ring any bells? Yeah, go delete that. I’ll wait.
Delete everything that’s bad. Pictures of you smoking a cigarette at 12 on myspace. Sexist comments from the days you didn’t know any better. The paragraph you wrote in your status about how much of a d**k your teacher was being for giving you detention in year 8. Delete it.
I liked the example I was taught. Use dinner table rules on social media. Keep it nice, and avoid religion and politics. That doesn’t mean you can’t state what you believe in, and that definitely doesn’t mean you can’t post a silly picture of your best friend on her 21st. It just means that you need to remember once you post something online, anyone can see it. Employers can see it. Employees of them employers can see it. If you’re on social media, aspects of your life are open to the public.
But, it’s not all bad. Interacting with employers and organisations, giving your opinion in a professional manner and keeping up to date with the news shows your interest and capabilities. That article that X company tweeted was in interesting? Let them know! Have questions? ASK! (Keep it professional!) Create a good online image and you’re another step ahead.
This has become quite a long post, so I’m going to stop it here.
Hope this helps.
Lots of love,