You and I can readily see all around us people who seem to land their dream jobs and seem rather successful, and we wonder how they were able to achieve all that. Well, no voodoo magic tricks here, only one thing sets them apart as the desired candidate by employers. They have come to realize the importance of having a personal brand.
All of us would really like to make significant progress in our careers, get our dream job with our dream company. The truth is, not a great majority of us realize any of such aspirations. However, if we improve our personal brand, we increase our chances of getting recognized.
What is a personal brand?
Well to set things off in at the right pace, we all know that all business entities have their brands. They all are known for that one thing that defines them and their operations. For instance, what comes to mind when you think of, say Pick’ n Pay? The thing that comes to mind will readily set Pick’ n Pay aside from all other hypermarkets, isn’t that true?
So even with us, and in our career pursuits as well as advances, we need to have that one thing that most sets us apart. Employers receive hundreds of applications per job opening, and guess who gets the call from them? The one who stands out.
Colin Wright in his book on Personal Branding emphasizes that personal branding is not something that you can invest an hour or two in and then never have to think about again. It’s a 24/7, full-time job that takes a lot of attention, tenacity, and cajoles to do right. Fortunately, once you get into the habit, it is something that can fit seamlessly into your life without having to keep it at the forefront of your mind.
Advantages of having a personal brand
You need to take stock of, and perhaps, rethink your personal and professional life. Who knows, maybe even bring in some changes to both. Sometimes you might have to switch jobs.
Colin Wright advises that by recognizing and optimizing your personal brand, you will become part of, and associated with specific ideas, movements, aesthetics, cultural attitudes and people. The more you refine your brand, the more targeted your message becomes and the more you will be doing the work you want to do, with the people you want to be working with, and at a price point that everyone can agree on.
You want to be known for something. You want to represent an idea and not be someone who just flows with every wind in the job market. Employers are looking for people who stand for a big idea. Who wouldn’t want that, especially in competitive environments like those of our day?
As suggested by Colin Wright, in the end, taking the time to filter out the rough and think through what kind of professional you want to be and how you want the rest of the world to see you can actually make you much more skilled, fulfilled and happy.
Abe Lincoln said, “I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
Basic building blocks to personal branding
One thing that employers look for is what you have been doing as extra-mural activities while at school or what you have been doing after graduation. That becomes part of identifying you and builds into your personal brand.
In the past, we dealt with what volunteering has on increasing your chances of getting a job and this time we just took that further.
Volunteering with no definite goals will not get you much. It becomes clear that as part of building your personal brand you need defined goals for any undertaking you wish to be involved in.
Remember it is not how long it took you as a volunteer. It is what you became through volunteering that counts. New skills acquired and general business view you obtained.
As one man once said to his class, “expect nothing by doing nothing.”
We all know that no team gets into the field and wins because it really wants to win and is quite positive about it. Winning will cost any team blood, sweat and tears at times. If you are serious about getting that job, do your homework and reflect on that in your applications.