Your professional or personal brand is an important asset that people associate with you. It’s how you present yourself and differentiate your skills from the competition. If you’re a job seeker, your brand tells employers what you bring to the table and why they should hire you. It’s how you tell your unique story, and it’s a marketing tool to further your core values and best traits.
In this article, we explain why developing a personal brand is important to job seekers and how it can help them land their next role.
Your brand answers “tell me about yourself?”
It’s hard to enter an interview without someone asking, “tell me about yourself?” or some variant of it. The interviewer is looking for an elevator pitch about who you are and what you can bring to the company. The question also helps set the tone for the rest of the interview.
If you’ve developed your personal brand, you should have no issue answering this question because you know your core values and best skills. Some may begin their answer with how they grew up in rural Ontario, which can be a great way to start. But ultimately, you need to land on the fundamentals of your personal brand.
For example, you could detail how you have X years of experience in the information technology industry and bring significant management and leadership experience. This creates your personal brand as an information technology leader. You may further replicate this point on other channels such as your LinkedIn, personal website, or business card.
Differentiate yourself from other applicants
But let’s be honest, there are plenty of “information technology leaders.” Personal branding is about more than just your work title. It’s about yourself. You can further differentiate your brand by including more personal traits.
For example, you could mention you’re a marathon runner, a professional home chef, or an avid skier. These qualities may not add to your credentials, but they can make you more personable. As much as an employer wants the person best fit for the job, they also want someone they can befriend. Your hobbies and interests can make you more approachable and the type of person they’d like to grab a drink with after work.
Communicate your services, strengths, and expertise
A personal brand is vital because, as a job seeker, you have to view yourself as a business trying to rope in clients. With that, consider what services you provide? How can you make your employer’s life easier? You answer these questions by identifying with your personal brand. And the more this message shines, the more an employer wants you on their team.
Your brand remains valuable even after you get the job
If your dream employer has sent you an offer letter, and you’ve decided to accept, your personal brand doesn’t end here. A personal brand is not only for the job-hunting process but follows you well into your role and beyond. By managing your brand, it may lead to different opportunities within your organization. Such opportunities can lead to promotions or lateral moves within the company to a role that better fits your desires.
For example, suppose you were recently hired as a data analyst and your personal brand revolved around your ability with data analysis and writing. In that case, you may find opportunities in your organization that better leverage both your skills.
Your personal brand is ultimately one of your most important assets. A powerful personal brand can not only communicate your strengths and expertise but also persuade an employer that you’re the best fit among job candidates. And remember, a personal brand isn’t only valuable during the job finding process but for the rest of your career.