Personal branding

Personal branding

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Understanding your Personal Brand and how to use it is essential in the current job market.

So, what is your Personal Brand?

It's essentially you, as a product, marketed and sold to employers.

It's everything you have to offer, from the basic stuff like skills and experience, to the more personal things like attitude, tone of voice, and personality. Your Personal Brand should help you stand out from other graduates, and it'll also help to define where you would like your career to head and keep you on track in that direction.

A graduate with a strong Personal Brand will display consistency across every stage of their job applications, as well as in their online and offline presence.

How to create an effective Personal Brand:

1. Audit what you've got to offer

This includes academic attainment (degrees, A Levels, awards, etc.), extracurricular activities (like societies and hobbies), work experience and internships, and career ambitions.

2. Figure out what you're after

Know how to answer the question "where do you see yourself in five years?". Better yet, know where you see yourself in ten years. You don't have to know the exact details, but a general idea of where you want to end up will ensure you make the kind of decisions along the way that will help you get there.

3. Know your limits

Simply put, know what you're willing to do and what you're not. Figuring it out ahead of time can save you many awkward conversations. This applies to hours, workload, relocation, and specific tasks.

4. Make it personal

Everyone is different, and no two people have taken the same path to get to where they are now. Making it personal means understanding what makes you different from the application that came in before you and the application that will follow yours - whether it's taking risks, or taking advantage of something unique to you.

5. Tell your story

After you've gathered all the information about yourself and discovered what makes you special, it's time to put this into action. Get to know your story - your journey through school and working life are all part of your personal narrative. The goal here is to think about how you can tell that story in a way that shows your commitment to getting to where you want to be.

Once you're feel comfortable, practice telling people your story in a few minutes or less. This is your personal pitch, which you will likely deliver time and again to prospective employers - both in person and in your applications.

6. Manage your online presence

We've all heard the warnings: employers will check your online presence. Try to keep it your social profiles and online activities private, or make sure they match your personal brand.

Whether you've got an Instagram account following Fashion trends and your eye on a career in Buying and Merchandising, or a blog giving your opinion and thoughts on the economy with the intention of pursuing a career in Finance, these platforms can provide solid evidence to employers that you are committed to your chosen field, and can help to enhance your Commercial Awareness.