Is your personal brand the best it can be?

How a strong personal brand can help your job search – and 3 ways to improve it

You've probably heard some buzz about the importance of developing a strong personal brand. But is the one you've come up with the best it can be? It's time to take stock, as a personal brand can be a huge benefit for you in your job search and help you secure the position of your dreams. 

Standing out from the crowd 
You may be considering changing jobs, but the fact of the matter is, you're not alone. A CareerBuilder survey found that more than one in five workers intend to change jobs this year – that's a lot of people to compete with! That's why you should be making every effort to help yourself stand out from the crowd – and a strong personal brand is one of the most powerful tools in your job-searching tool box. When a recruiter or hiring manager is reviewing hundreds of resumes and portfolios in a day, a brief blurb at the top that highlights who you are and what you bring to the table – your value proposition, as Happy Melly puts it – can get your application more face time. You're making things easier for whoever's reviewing your application, while making sure you're strongest selling points are getting highlighted, too. 

Building momentum 
It's important to develop a fully fleshed-out personal brand that reflects your unique selling points and passions. By expressing this personal brand through the professional decisions you make and the contacts you network with, you can begin to build momentum in your career. 

As workplace culture consultant Brian Saltzman wrote in an article for Fast Company, "Creating a strong brand establishes yourself as a natural leader, making people look up to you as a firm thought leader. The boost in image and direction opens doors and creates unique opportunities that would otherwise remain in the dark." 

Tips for creating a stronger personal brand 
With a few tweaks, you can create a better personal brand that's more engaging and more effective at helping you catapult your career to new heights. Here are a few tips:

  • Have some personality. It's a personal brand, but you'd be surprised how many people describe themselves and their ambitions in the same exact way. Think about your unique experiences and traits, and highlight them in your brand. You not only want to position yourself as a valuable employee, but as someone who people would also enjoy working with. 
  • Keep it consistent. Your social media profiles, portfolio site, personal website, business card, resume, cover letter, the way you interview, the way you dress – all these avenues and more should reflect a unified personal brand. Take stock of where you're at and make improvements if necessary. 
  • Be honest with yourself. "If you brand yourself as something you're not, you run the risk of being exposed as an imposter and losing the trust of those around you" says The Interview Guys, and while it's not a pleasant thought, it's true – make sure your brand reflects your authentic self. 

Be more competitive in your job search with a strong personal brand – and be sure to take the time to cultivate it so that it's the best it can be.