When you’re on the job hunt, what is the one thing that will help you stand out over other candidates?
I’ve asked this question a lot and get a variety of answers: the college you went to, the company you previously worked for, your name (if it’s unique enough), your awards or achievements. These can all help to make you memorable, but the truth is they’re not always going to work.
But the one thing that will consistently help you to look like a peacock in a field of pheasants is the way you brand yourself, both on paper and in person.
What is Personal Branding?
Briefly, personal branding is the process of establishing a unique persona for your target audience (in this case, your audience is recruiters and hiring managers).
It’s your best way to differentiate yourself from other candidates competing for the same job while providing the following benefits:
Build Better Connections
Use your brand to start building recognition and connect with others inside and outside of your field. People can get to know you through your brand, so take advantage of how it helps you grow your network.
When people feel like they know you, they can also start to trust you. They know your intentions, what you stand for, and what you can do, and hopefully they’ll remember this when they need to fill a position you’d fit.
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – STEPHEN R. COVEY
Make Yourself More Memorable
For job seekers, memorability is everything. HR teams are busy and might not remember what specifically they liked or didn’t like about a candidate. If you’ve branded yourself well, it will be hard for you not to stand out in a sea of lookalike applications.
What Does Your Personal Brand Say About You?
Here’s something most people don’t realize: you already have a personal brand, whether or not you realize it. But for a personal brand to be effective, you need to be proactive in shaping what it looks like. Think about how you want others to see you, what message you want to send them, and how you ultimately want them to feel about you when they look at your resume, LinkedIn page, or in person.
From there, you can start taking action and connecting dots that will shape your personal brand.