As a senior in college, I am beginning to embark on the most exciting and yet most nerve wracking task yet – a post college career. I have been told since day one in numerous classes to think about my “personal brand” and to start “selling myself” to future potential employers. But what does creating a personal brand really mean? How do I want people to see me? Do I make a website? Do I spread the word via social media and word of mouth about how awesome I am at what I do? The answers to all of these are yes!
Any experienced business person will know the importance of a personal brand. It is used to tell people who you are and help them identify you with a specific area of understanding or expertise. According to Entrepreneur, once you do this, you will be well on your way to becoming the go-to person in your niche or industry. The first step is to start thinking of yourself as a brand. Think of how you want others to perceive you – are you a creative? A serious business leader? An intern or student searching for a career or perhaps a seasoned professional working to open your own business? As soon as you do this, you can start building your brand.
Create and Share
Step two involves becoming a thought leader in your industry and sharing your knowledge on social media networks. I like the saying, “the more you know the more you grow.” If you are knowledgeable about the industry you are in or want to work for and share insightful tweets, LinkedIn and blog posts, your audience will recognize you as a professional in the field and seek you out. As you create content and share it with others, the more visible
you will become and your personal brand will begin to grow.
The next step is to secure a personal website. What’s better than having an easy way to showcase your talents and personality? It doesn’t have to be fancy or have 10 pages with complicated graphics, but it must include your resume, links to your social platforms and a brief bio. Having a website is the best way to rank your name on search engines. Chose from sites like Weebly, Wix, GoDaddy and more to start building!
Once you’ve done these, the last step is to (believe it or not) have fun! If your personality shines through on your personal networks, your brand will be authentic and real. Don’t try to impress anyone or be over-the-top with posting content or creating a complicated website. Stay true to yourself and be honest with your skills, knowledge and what you have to offer others. Best of luck!