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Looking For A Job? How To Build A Personal Brand For Your Career Path

Your personal brand is the version of yourself you showcase to the world. It encompasses your values, mission and brand personality that you showcase to customers, your network and potential employers.

A personal brand can even be utilized alongside a business brand with great effects—up-leveling your professional identity and opening doors for new business opportunities. If you’re looking to build a personal brand, check out this advice from nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council and find out how optimizing your personal brand can help you as a job seeker.

1. Pinpoint Your Strengths

Nowadays, it is imperative to have a personal brand in order to enhance and amplify your professional identity. First, begin by looking at influencers both inside and outside your industry. What makes them magnetic and appealing to you? Then, identify three adjectives to describe your own ideal brand; mine are “authentic,” “compelling” and “passionate.” Then, ask your friends or colleagues to help you identify your three most notable current descriptors, and see how you can blend your current strengths with your ideal strengths. I find it can also be extremely valuable to create a mood board that includes colors, textures and fonts to guide you as you create your brand and persona. These steps will allow you to fully develop a brand that is consistent, easily identifiable and effective. – Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity

2. Know How You Want To Represent Yourself

To build a personal brand for your career, it’s important to know exactly who you want to embody and how you want to represent yourself. As a job seeker, the better you know yourself, the easier it’ll be to answer recruiters’ questions and think of examples where you were an asset in your former position. When you know what you bring to the table, it’s easier to demonstrate that value and bring it to any interview. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

3. Tell Your Story

The most powerful way to build your personal brand is by telling your story. This means sharing what drives you and what you believe, and creating thought leadership content that’s authentic to who you are. The reason this works is because there’s only one you. Your audience loves to hear about real-life experiences, even when the stories you share might not always be about success. Post your stories and life lessons on places like LinkedIn. It does several things to help you build a compelling profile. Others will see that you’re passionate, that you can express yourself and that you’re capable of learning. Your stories can help you stand out in a sea of candidates and get the job you deserve. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

4. Become A Subject Matter Expert

Start by sharing advice and helpful tips on social media, then add blogging and then add speaking or videos. By sharing your expertise on a topic, you’ll start to get noticed as the go-to resource and your followers will grow—and so will your bank account. Be consistent. It’s not about quantity so much as it is quality. Focus on writing content that helps others and is never promotional. Start by posting two posts a week on social media, and then increase as long as you can commit. Employers are looking for individuals with a brand, a following and who are subject matter experts. By having a personal brand, you’ll set yourself apart from other candidates and also be showing immense value to that company. – Nicole Smartt Serres, Star Staffing

5. Build A Personal Website

One of the best ways to build your brand is to create a personal website. A website allows you to connect with industry experts, newcomers and potential clients, all of which are crucial for your success. I’ve learned a lot about my industry and goals by creating a website where I can share my thoughts, gather feedback and connect with other like-minded people. When you’re a job seeker, a website can also act as your resume. You can highlight professional and personal accomplishments and list references and testimonials from previous clients. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

6. Get Involved With Your Community

The key to building a personal brand for myself was getting involved in the community. I tried to attend all relevant industry events, even when they all turned remote for a while. I also host events where I offer my advice on hot topics and encourage conversations between attendees. Building rapport with reputable experts and learning from their experiences helped me establish my personal brand and reputation. I believe the other piece of the puzzle is how I put myself out there and encourage new business leaders and seasoned veterans to engage in meaningful conversations. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

7. Create Social Media Content

Create a social media feed dedicated to a narrow, but useful field of professional focus. That might be educating people about design choices or conflict resolution strategies in HR. As long as you show that you’re knowledgeable and useful, you can apply this method to any field. Use these feeds as a supplement to your resume or portfolio. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

8. Curate A Personal Brand Kit

A simple but impactful way that you can build your personal brand is by creating a personal brand kit and then using it consistently. A brand kit consists of colors, fonts, logos and other visual elements. I suggest building a kit of your own. When you have a personal brand kit, you can apply it to the content you share online. For example, you can upload images to LinkedIn and other places to share your thoughts and ideas—except you “brand” it with a consistent set of colors, fonts and graphics. Over time, people will associate such imagery with you personally. You’ll stand out from your peers, which will help you catch the attention of recruiters and other hiring personnel. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

9. Remember Your ‘Offline’ Brand Too

Your personal brand is a combination of who you are and how you want people to perceive you. In the social media age, many people forget that a personal brand isn’t strictly an online persona that you maintain on the internet. Building a brand carries over into real life as well. Think about your daily interactions with bosses, co-workers and customers. Are you living your brand and portraying it each day to those around you? If not, you should start. Word-of-mouth is a powerful thing. Once people know your brand, they will begin to talk about it. This can often be your foot in the door for interviews or future career paths. Your name can come up in talks of new positions in your company or completely new ventures. Online branding is important, but don’t neglect your real life either. – Shaun Conrad, My Online Accounting Course

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