Make yourself stand outPersonal Branding is knowing what makes you unique and how you can stand out or distinguish yourself from the rest. For example: what can you do to distinguish yourself from your fellow students who have the same qualifications? Or from your colleague with the same amount of experience? It all begins with self-evaluation. Only you know what your goals are, what you want to achieve, and what your strong points are that make you unique.
Sell yourself!The added value of a strong personal brand is something we see more and more in the job market. Organisations attach an increasingly higher value on a personality which matches with the organisation. Sometimes, this is even more important than matching perfectly with the job requirements. Certificates can be obtained, skills can be learned, but a person's personality is what it is. It is, therefore, a challenge to sell yourself as a person, or as a brand, to a potential employer. By knowing who you are and what your strong points are. Describe them, determine for yourself why these are your strong points, and connect them to recent and concrete examples. By mentioning these concrete examples you will show what these strong points contribute in practice. Be original, creative, but most importantly, be yourself!
Unique selling pointsChallenge yourself to find your strong points, or 'unique selling points', and think beyond the standard competences and qualities that are related to your education or function. To give an example: accuracy is something that would naturally be expected of a financial expert. But this is not a competence that makes a financial expert so unique. This is why you should try to find competences that are not 'standard issue' for a specific job or function, but which can actually add value. What makes your personality unique? Ask your fellow students or colleagues how they perceive you. See yourself as a brand. This is how you will find your own unique selling points. They will tell a potential employer why they should choose you.
First impressionWhen you have mapped this all out for yourself, it is important to check whether your image matches the image other people have of you. What kind of first impression do you give? This is an essential part of a strong personal brand. The moment on which you leave your first impression is different every time. Maybe your first contact with someone is done online, or at a networking drink, or by phone. That is why it is important to leave one kind of impression. When you have a very animated phone conversation with a recruiter, but you leave a very different impression during an interview, then this will deter from your personal brand. Therefore, it is important that you stay true to your brand, and that you are not afraid to express in any manner what makes you unique as a person.
Online brandIt is vital that you structure your social media channels professionally to the outside world. When a recruiter or employer, for example, looks at your Facebook or LinkedIn profile, then this person must get the right impression of you. This is how you strengthen your brand.
And add your unique selling points to your CV. So your CV will already tell why you are the right person for the job.