Personal branding is the whole sequence of showing what you want to accomplish, how you want to market yourself to other people, and the overall impression of who you are as an individual. Networking is considered to be one of the most essential yet usually underestimated concept when it comes to personal branding. According to BH Careers International, 80% of available jobs are never really advertised, and over half of all the employees receive jobs through networking. Networking is a strategy which not only creates a chance of lasting relationships with people, but it also opens doors to different opportunities in finding a suitable workplace.
In an ever growing society where technology plays a vital role in the social dynamics of communication, the concept of personal branding can be viewed in two ways: online branding and offline branding. Creating a strong online presence is important, as most employers will now resort to social media in finding candidates. Social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter are a good way to show your brand with other people. Another social media site is LinkedIn. With over 300 million users, LinkedIn is the largest social media site for professional networking, which makes it a strong platform in creating a noticeable profile for your personal brand. Another underestimated yet highly important aspect that affects one’s job search would be one’s email address. The email address should be simple and professional. The best way to do so would be avoid any personal terms that are not affiliated with your professional profile.
It is important to build a lasting profile in order to stand out to employers. Doing this will take time and dedication in order to really grasp your values, passions and skills, as these will eventually determine your profile. Your offline brand is how you promote yourself when meeting people face to face. Practicing the “elevator pitch” will be of a benefit, as it helps you leave an impression. The elevator pitch is a 30 second (or less) mini-speech designed to introduce your brand to other people that you just met, as if they were in an elevator with you until they exit at the floor they want. This includes a firm handshake, who you are as a person, experience you have, your interests and open questions, all of which could engage someone into a conversation with you. The questions you give at the end of a pitch should be thought of carefully, since networking is as much about listening as it is about talking. Open-ended questions are the best option because they increase the chance of someone elaborating further, rather than just responding with a “yes” or “no”.
Building the right relationships is important when it comes to networking, knowing the right people could mean getting the right opportunities. You should always be actively seeking to create relationships with people through the different methods, may it be offline and online. Making sure you dedicate your time and effort towards building your profile will leave a strong foundation for your personal brand.