by Kristy Amburgey
Personal branding is a great way for any job seeker or professional to establish his or her expertise in industry or in the market, and a personal brand, especially in the online world, allows you to be more easily found and makes it easier for someone to comprehend your brand. Before you start to implement actual branding ideas, you first need to understand your brand…YOU.
To create your brand, you need to take the time to figure out what skills, qualities, experiences, accomplishments, etc. upon which you are going to build your reputation. You need to evaluate what makes you unique as a job seeker and what traits your desired companies value and marry the two together into one cohesive brand.
Depending on where you are in your career, you can draw from your academic, co-op/internship, project, volunteer and work (part-time and full-time) experiences. Consider the experiences that are most closely related to the career you want and remember to include the accomplishments that make you stand out from the typical candidate. Directly related experiences should be prioritized as you create your brand, but you also need to apply experiences that are not typical of your industry to further show a connection between you and what the employer needs. To understand industry expectations, you should have several targeted companies in mind and know what the “typical” candidate looks like for them.
You may have a grasp on what skills, accomplishments and qualifications you are going to use to build your brand, but you must also know what you expect to achieve with your personal brand. What job(s) do you desire? What outcomes are you seeking with your brand? It is difficult to create a brand when you don’t know who your target audience is or what your own goals happen to be. When creating your brand, understand who you want to see your branding efforts and keep their personalities and preferences in mind. When you are seeking employment, it is even more important to understand your audience and know what job you want before developing your brand.
Creating a personal brand is a valuable way to communicate information about you. Before creating the brand, you must have a clear picture of what you can offer and what you want in order to create a strategy that works. And you need to honestly evaluate your connection to these areas before beginning your branding efforts.
Next week, we will continue the idea of creating a brand with How to Create Your Brand: Part Two.
Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department. She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.