We see it across LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter every day: people, trying to grow a strong digital presence and personal brand by constantly posting whatever will represent them in a positive light.
When you are building your personal brand across all your social media channels, it is important to not accidentally detract from your public image due to unintended errors, such as posting a status complaining about the commute to work, or listing a detailed schedule of the day in an effort to look important. Now, if you are sitting there thinking that you are just a regular person who is not going to make such poor decisions no matter the degree of desperation, that is great. However, keep in mind that nobody sets out to make dumb decisions or to damage their own reputation.
One of the key aspects of personal branding is to build an identity that stands out and gets noticed, at least in theory. The problem is that the pursuit of attention can be a slippery slope. There is a fine line between doing it just right and going too far. But how much is too much?
No matter the occupation or personality, you should have your own personal dress code that is tied to your personal brand and goals. This is easy in formal environments, where a strict dress code is more readily followed. But on most occasions there are no easy-to-follow standard rules; hence you have to let your personal brand guide your clothing decisions.
Just because you work in a loose environment does not mean that your clothing should reflect that you are dissolute. Even jeans and a t-shirt can look good on you as long as this is admissible to your work environment. Put some thought into what you wear because others are forming an opinion about you based on it. Create a look, own it and wear it - no matter the day. Personal branding goes far beyond wearing purple Converse shoes or dying your hair pink.
Presentation is important, but there has to be substance behind it. Let us say that you have your looks covered, then what about your CV? How about the skills and the abilities you need to show to stick out? You can have the flashiest presentation, but if you do not have substantive tasks, actions, and projects that you have accomplished, then all the self-promotion in the world is not going to get you anywhere. So invest in perosnal development, in acquiring new skills, or in achieveing special staus or distinctions.
You know that language skills are important for your career and you have invested in improving your fluency. So what is the best way to present your language skills on your CV? And which languages will look good on your resume and make you stand out? You do not need to jump into rare languages such as Dumi, a language of Nepal, usually spoken in regions near the Tap and Rava rivers. Unless, of course, you are planning to live there or you are an anthropologist and explorer. Before investing in a hard skill such as foreign languages, you must first consider the country or the continent you are going to work in and live in. In this case, let us consider Europe. The most spoken languages here are German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, and, of course, if you are an expat in the Netherlands, Dutch is a must, if you want to find a suitable job easily and quickly.
However, foreign languages are just onе set of skills needed to make your CV memorable. Nowadays, technical skills such as computer programming, advanced bookkeeping, data analysis, accounting, marketing, graphic design and so on, are becoming more in demand by employers. There are also some social skills that are good to have on your resume if you want to be noticed. For instance, teamwork, ability to work under pressure, decision-making, time management, self-motivation, adaptability, and creativity are highly valued at the job market. If you have great soft skills on your resume, you will do better than a candidate who has nothing more than the required technical skills.
Ultimately, keep in mind to match your skills to the job you want. There is no need to be proficient at biophysics if you are an accountant. Given these points, no matter what all the self-proclaimed experts have to say, your reputation, your personal brand – whatever you want to call it – really rests on just one thing: your credibility. It is the hardest thing to build and the easiest thing to destroy. So work hard to maintain it.