With a record number of jobs on offer in today's market, now is the best time to switch up your career and start looking for something new. However, landing your dream job is a competitive game, so you need to make sure you’re standing out as a top candidate in your sector. One key way to do this is by defining and enhancing your personal brand throughout the hiring process. 

Here is everything you need to know about personal branding as a job applicant, why you need it, and how to enhance yours in time for an upcoming interview. 

What is personal branding?

A personal brand is the way you promote yourself and your unique combination of skills, experience, and personality. Now, you could ignore your personal brand and let it develop organically - but this means you will have very little control over how employers perceive you. 

We want to show you a few ways you can help steer your personal brand to depict yourself as the professional you want to be.

Why is personal branding important in your job search?

Your personal brand can be vital to you as a professional in your sector, as it allows you to present yourself to current and potential employers in a way you can control. Personal branding also gives you the opportunity to highlight your strengths and passions as well as highlight your unique selling point as a candidate. 

When it comes to your job search, having a clear personal brand is important for many reasons: 

  1. It can help you seem more influential and confident: Knowing your worth is a key attribute that potential employers will admire. 
  2. It helps you stand out from the crowd: You can use your personal brand to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in your industry. This will really make sure you make a great first impression during the hiring process.

What should a successful personal brand include? 

In order to start building effective personal branding, it’s important that you decide on the impression you want to give, what you’d like to achieve, and most importantly – what you have to offer as a job applicant. 

Here are a few elements you should cover:

  • Your passions and interests
  • Your education and work experience
  • Your personality
  • Your goals and aspirations
  • Your values
  • Your strengths and skills

With the above elements, you’ll be able to craft a message that tells employers exactly who you are, what you do, and what makes you different from the rest of the candidates they’re interviewing. Not only should you include this message on your professional LinkedIn profile and personal statement, but incorporate it into everything you do throughout the hiring process. 

It won’t come as a surprise that a potential employers are going to look at some of your social media accounts at some point during the hiring process - especially LinkedIn. To ensure that you’re defining your online brand across social media platforms, here are our 5 steps to creating the perfect LinkedIn profile.

How do I build a personal brand?

Now you’ve outlined what your personal brand should include, here are a few top tips to help you build it out properly:

  • Review your online brand: To make sure your online persona isn’t painting you in the wrong light, give your social media profiles frequent audits – removing or hiding any potentially inappropriate photos or posts.  
  • Build your network: Make solid connections within your current company or university to boost your reputation – and open yourself up to opportunities within your network. 
  • Stay active: Maintain a consistent online presence that advocates promotes your personal brand. You can do this by creating your own blog or website that is relevant to your industry. Or, you could regularly share relevant articles from other sources onto your social media channels. 

How can recruiters help with personal branding perception?

A good recruiter will build up their knowledge of your current skills and motivations. Once they have this key information, they can then assist you in developing your personal brand to employers. It’s their job to sell you to the employer from the very beginning in order to secure your first interview. Here are some simple ways you can get the most out of your relationship with a recruiter.

What’s next? 

Now you’ve established your personal brand strategy and know exactly what future employers are looking for, download our FREE Job Applicant Toolkit for more help tips and tricks to help you succeed in your upcoming job search. 

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