8 Steps to Jump-Start Your Personal Brand

Jumping, Leaping

One of my favorite quotes about personal branding conveys a strong message in simple words:

“Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”

–Jeff Bezos, creator of Amazon.com

You should always keep this quote in mind when networking, because it will have a lasting positive effect on the creation of your personal brand. The quote above holds much value to live by for any job seeker, especially within Generation Y.  If you haven’t put much thought into developing your personal brand- think about what are the best things to focus on to get people to say what you want them to about you when you leave the room?

With the brutal competition within the job market, the recent college graduates in Generation Y have more concerns to face in the job hunt…standing out. A recent article written by Dan Schwabel, founder of Student Branding Blog, mentioned that building your brand takes quite some time and early effort to earn results. So what should a Gen Y jobseeker do to build a personal brand with a lasting impression online and offline? Here are a few methods to help get you started in developing your personal brand:

1.) Win with the Right Cards- Networking is more efficient if you have something to give the other person to remember you by, especially with your name on it. No matter what industry you’re interested in getting into, create a professional business card with all of your contact information. If you have your own personal site, or a picture of a sample of a piece of artwork you created for example, be sure to put it on the other side of the business card. Don’t be afraid to add a little uniqueness and style in creating your card! Think outside the box- this little detail is how people will remember you by.

2.) Be Yourself– No connection will be made if there is any awkwardness while networking. Remember to have a good time networking, because this is how you will get people to remember you- by being authentic. Stay positive, be honest, and enjoy getting to know other people and how you can help them with your services. Display a sense of confidence that isn’t too overpowering when communicating with someone in your industry.

3.) Show Your Sparkle- If you’re networking in person, dress how you want your brand to be seen along with a top notch confident personality. If you want to be seen as sophisticated, wear professional attire that is clean, simple, and classy. A more casual personal brand wouldn’t be as fancy, but would require presentable attire that doesn’t include graphic tees.

4.) “Of course I blog! Who doesn’t?”- Majority of Generation Y is still out searching in the job market. Some aren’t aware of the advantages of what blogging can do in their job hunt. Create a blog, and write about what you’re passionate about. Connect your articles to related groups/chats on LinkedIn and Twitter to build your brand. When you apply for a position, make sure your blog site URL is on top of your resume. This will give employers a real perspective of your personal brand and what you know. They will ultimately see the value you can provide their company, and get the edge in the interview.

5.) Link with Others- One aspect I believe Generation Y doesn’t quite grasp enough is having a professional profile on LinkedIn. In a recent online webinar hosted by Matt Baum of SimplyHired.com, he stated that LinkedIn is similar to a business lunch, where your resume gets displayed. It’s such a vital step in the job search process of developing your unique career brand for future employers.

6.) Bye-bye Negativity- If you decide to network on Facebook, erase anything negative or that can harm your overall image. On Twitter, everything you post becomes a lifelong visible part of the internet that will always be associated with your name. Be sure to keep a polished image by consistently monitoring all your accounts and stopping to think before posting! When responding to contacts, be respectful of their opinions.

7.) Be Proactive- Remain responsive to your emails, messages and comments within your social media accounts. Try to respond as quickly as possible and honestly to your networks to ensure a trusting relationship.

8.) Open your ears and mind- It’s important to listen what others are saying in your industry. Take in all advice and information you can to grow yourself and your brand.

As mentioned in Dan Schwabel’s personal branding article, you need to start all these steps early on in your job search process to see results. Remember to devote enough time in forming the image you want others to see when you walk out the room. Best of luck on a long journey in creating success for your career!

Post written by Julie Skowronek, Marketing Coordinator at Whiting Consulting.

Photo Credit: Brand-Yourself.com

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One Response

  1. Thanks, very interesting, relevant post.

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