It does not matter whether you are “just” a regular jobseeker or an ambitious startup,you have probably heard about personal branding, and if you dismissed it thinking it is just a shameless self-promotion, maybe that is the reason why you are not quite where you intend to be.
The beauty of personal branding is in the fact that it is not something you have to create from scratch; it is something you already do. The things you are good at, the things you have done, and the reason why you do what you do. When reviewing your personal brand, start with a clear idea about what you want people to believe about you and compare it to what they actually currently believe. You can ask people you know or work with, to name a couple of things that come to mind in association with you, or – yes, I will say it – Google yourself.
If you cannot be found online, you will miss out on opportunities. Develop a solid online presence. You will probably want to start with a LinkedIn profile. Here, your motivation should not be to brag about your accomplishments, it should be to paint a picture of how you can add value by solving a problem. You need to be known for something of value for people to want to work with you.
Humanize your brand. People are more interested in who and why, rather than what and how. We make purchasing decisions based on emotional responses and personal connections. The person behind the company that we choose to do business with matters to us. It matters why this person is in this business – is it just to make money, or do they have some sort of mission?
Networking is also a mode of personal branding. It is about building trust, offering value and – despite what you might think – not expecting anything in return. It is tempting to go up to someone with the idea that they can help you with something. However, getting something in return should be your long-term strategy.
Prepare your 30-seconds elevator pitch. If you freeze up when it is time to introduce yourself, you are missing out on the only opportunity to make a good first impression. You should cover what you do and for whom, using keywords or terms people are likely to use when searching for someonelike you. A sense of your personality would be appropriate, as well as a thought-provoking, interesting, likeable indication of why you are credible, trustworthy, and worth associating with.
Finally, whether you are crafting your online presence or working on your personal presentation, keep in mind that words mean nothing if you donot back them up with actions. If the ideal presentation of you doesnot match the reality of you, you might want to change the reality.
By Veronika Bacova