What is personal branding – and why does it matter?
Personal branding - another buzz term we hear a lot these days. We all know that the world of recruitment has changed completely, but branding? Isn’t that something companies do?
In today’s über-competitive world, and with social media like LinkedIn entering almost every dimension of our lives, whether we like it or not, we all have a personal brand and that personal brand needs to be actively managed.
But how exactly can one manage one’s personal brand? Before we get into that, today, let’s first look at what is personal branding and why it matters.
What is personal branding?
According to the dictionary, a personal brand is a widely-recognized, common perception people have of an individual based on his/her experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, company or marketplace.
Whilst that’s a good starting point, here at The Happy Mondays Co, we like to look at things from a practical perspective and our definition goes further, considering the role your personal brand plays in finding your Happy Mondays.
So, over and above, for us, your personal brand can be defined as the sum of every interaction and experience a company, recruiter or hiring manager has with you over the course of the recruitment process to create and validate a certain perception.
Hence, your personal brand not only includes your CV and LinkedIn profile, but also your introduction email or cover letter, your elevator pitch, as well as your behavior in interviews and at events.
But why does having a clear personal brand matter?
If you’re familiar with The Happy Mondays Program and if you’ve been reading some of our latest articles, such as How to find a job abroad, How to go back to work after a career break or How to change careers, you will have noticed that personal branding is often the key to transforming your career and finding your Happy Mondays.
Just as in marketing, personal branding helps you to position yourself in the market and communicate your value. Thus, through a clear personal brand, you can definitively demonstrate to a potential employer why your experience and achievements are relevant to the role you’re applying for and why they should hire you.
In essence, you should think of your personal branding like your own packaging, because, just as you would be more likely to buy a product if the packaging is clear and attractive, equally a company would be more likely to hire you, if it can clearly discern from your personal brand why you’re a good fit for the role and organization.
So irrespective of whether you’re moving to another country, switching industries or career fields, whatever transition you’re making, if you have a clear brand, you can make the switch you aspire to.
What makes a strong personal brand?
Before you start developing your personal brand, as a first step, it’s important to clearly define your career objectives. Based on this, you can develop the image you want to project.
When developing your personal brand remember:
A strong personal brand is goal oriented and specific to the job you want.
It highlights your relevant transferable skills.
It provides evidence of how you’ve demonstrated these skills in the past.
It proves why you’re perfect for the job.
It’s aligned across all your written and spoken interactions with potential employers.
Don’t forget, companies want to hire the best person for the job and often they are prepared to do what it takes to bring in the right person.
This provides you with an amazing opportunity, but also means that for every job, you’re not only competing against your neighbours, but also the best people from across the world. Clearly, having a clear personal brand that makes you stand apart, has never been more crucial.
Now that we have a basic understanding of personal branding, in the next parts of this series, we will look at how to create a killer brand and elevator pitch, how to successfully manage your online brand and more. So, stay tuned!