You Are Your Own Brand

Creative Professional in Office

Branding is Vital


One of the essential parts of any marketing campaign is branding.  Branding is the process of creating a distinctive design that defines your company and sets you apart from your competition.  Branding includes everything from a company logo to the colors used, the tagline, where and when the company promotes itself.  A brand is also defined through the target audience and even the cost of the offered goods or services.


A job search is your own personal marketing campaign, and your brand may be the deciding factor in a hiring manager deciding to take a chance on you.


Before you can brand yourself, you have to know what sort of presence you currently have.  If you search for yourself online, you may find things that you never thought about.  A professional brand may be undone if a search unveils pictures of you partying, drinking, or acting in an unprofessional way.  It is a good idea to get control of your online presence.  Go through your social media channels and remove items that may cause embarrassment.  If pictures are posted to other people’s accounts, request that the image be removed or that security on the images be set, so they are not available to the general public.


Decide What You Want Your Online Presence to Be


Besides cleaning up potentially years worth of social media posts, you need to plan the things you want to achieve through your branding campaign.  What is the career you are looking for?  What sort of companies do you want to shoot for, and what steps are you willing or able to take to get to your ultimate goal?  Sometimes getting to your dream position means starting at another company or lower position to gain the experience needed to achieve your long term goal.  Your plan should include a timeframe you are allowing yourself to achieve your goal.  A plan may be a long term plan taking several years to complete.  If this is the case, you should lay out the steps you want to take along the way to your ultimate goal.


Achievement of your goal may require more than work experience.  Many positions require certifications or licenses.  For other careers, certification might optional but will allow you to stand out above your competition.  What certifications are available?  What licenses are needed?  Will you have to pay for these certifications on your own, or will they be paid for by your employer?  If your employer pays for your education, what are your obligations to the company?


Branding is About Personality


Branding is also about your look and personality.  In offices that allow for business casual dress, there is always that one person who dresses in business attire.  Sometimes you find a person who insists on wearing a tie, or even a bow tie.  Some people may be known for colors they wear.  For many of these people, the clothes are part of the overall brand.  These are people with a plan.  These are also the people who tend to be the hardest workers and most adaptable.  Personal branding is designed to make you stand out from the crowd.  It is not only about what you wear to work, but how you work.  If you stand out, but are substandard in your work, the management team is going to notice.  If you stand out from the crowd and your work is well-respected, you have a much greater chance of your plan coming to fruition.


Create a Branding Statement


A branding statement is another important part of your personal marketing campaign.  A branding statement shows who you are, your values, and what you bring to a company.  Your branding statement may be added to your Linked In profile and it may be added to your resume.  Do not necessarily use the same branding statement on every resume your send out.  You are going to want to tweak the statement based on the company you are applying to.  Make sure the statement is in line with the company, or you will appear to be out of touch with the company and be passed over.  Even if you have to change or tweak your branding statement it should always reflect who you are and what you can offer to an employer.


The Best Part is You Can Start Right Now!


Branding is a choice and can start right away.  What you post to social media, how you post, and even what profile pictures you choose are part of your brand.  The best part of branding is that you can change and adapt it over time as your plans change and adapt.

The most important part of a personal brand is that you can back it up.  A brand may get you in the door, but it will not keep you there if you cannot follow through.  Your skills and your talents are also part of your brand.  The best brands have style and substance.  You require both to succeed and achieve your goals.