I have an important question for you: Have you ever seriously considered what your personal brand is and how it’s affecting your career?
Unfortunately, most people won’t have a good answer to that question, which is something we’d like to change. At Kate Langford Career Consulting, we take a very holistic approach to job hunting/career progression and we want you to understand how important it is that you do too, if you genuinely care about your professional and personal success.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you currently have a personal brand, just like any company does. When someone mentions your name, people will make associations and establish certain opinions about who you are and what you stand for. In regard to job searching, this really matters as a majority of jobs are actually not advertised at all, but instead filled internally or through other personal connections or networking. With that in mind, I have 6 tips to help you build a strong personal brand that can (and will!) help you in your career pursuit!
1. Get to know yourself!
If you’re in our Career Accelerator Program, you’ve got the modules and worksheets in week 1 to help you figure this one out – if not, grab a pen and paper and write down things like: your values, what’s important to you, your strengths (what comes easy to you? What do other people compliment you on?), what you enjoy doing and why, when you feel at your best, what makes you angry or frustrated and what other people think of you. I would encourage you to ask for feedback! It’s not as scary as it might seem, and can really help you in the process of understanding your current personal brand. Check out one of our career consultants recent video about asking for feedback here.
2. Establish what you want to be known for!
Once you’ve become clearer on where you’re at, we can start to think about where we want to be. What words would you want your boss/colleagues/friends and family to use to describe you? What sort of first impression would you like to make on people you meet for the first time? Again, write it down. Say it out loud. Visualise it. And then – keep these words close as you go about your days, and act accordingly.
3. Get closer to people who inspire you!
As someone wise once said, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”. There are two parts to this. 1 – Part of your brand are the people you’re associated with and, in turn, how those people are perceived. 2 – In order to be successful, you must stay inspired. We become the sum of the people we spend time with so make sure your network isn’t holding you back. This also applies to online platforms. Can you find and connect with 5 people on LinkedIn today who you find inspiring, or who do what you’d like to be doing? (Yes, I’m sure you can – get onto it!)
4. Have a well-crafted elevator pitch ready to go!
When you meet someone for the first time, you’ve got the power to establish how you want them to perceive you! You can reinvent yourself multiple times in your lifetime, but it will rarely happen by chance. You must decide. Are you a Project Management professional? An academic? A customer service expert? A supply chain specialist? A human rights advocate? And then – what’s the value that you bring? WHY do you do what you do? And more importantly, can you put this into a short, concise and convincing statement? If you need help crafting your perfect elevator pitch, get in touch. We’ll be happy to help!
5. Watch your online presence!
Have you ever googled yourself? Have a go right now, put your name within quotation marks in Google and maybe add the name of the city you live in or the company you work/have worked for – what comes up? Are those things in line with the image you want to portray and the brand you want to build for yourself? Is your Facebook profile open to the public and what would someone’s impression of you be if they scrolled through your profile and also looked at other available information, such as pages you like and groups you’re part of? These things matter and could cost you career opportunities if you’re not careful!
Of course, this is also where LinkedIn comes in, which is the most commonly used platform for professionals worldwide. Make sure your profile gives off a good impression, that it’s aligned with your personal brand and that you’ve got endorsements and recommendations to verify your skills and strengths. Creating a compelling and effective LinkedIn profile is certainly more easily said than done, and once again, we’ve got professionals who can help you stand out with our done-for-you LinkedIn overhaul service, should you wish to.
6. Practice what you preach, and be kind, always.
You might disagree with me on this one but in my opinion, you can’t effectively live by different values inside VS outside of work, or only in certain scenarios or selected groups of people. Your brand is how you carry yourself – all of the time! I bet there’s none of you who DON’T want to be seen as a kind and genuine person, which mean you should be equally mindful of how you treat and speak to the cashier at your local supermarket, as when you’re talking to your manager or someone you look up to. Your brand must be authentic in order to be trustworthy and sustainable.
In short, career success is so much more than just being smart, or having a good resume, or even having the confidence to believe in yourself. We live in an age where your professional brand will undeniably play a part in your life and career and we want you to take control of it sooner rather than later!
We hope this blog has inspired you to consider who you need to be in order to reach the goals you want to achieve! If you need some support to get started by booking in a free 20 min call with one of our career consultants at: https://www.katelangford.com.au/book-appointment/
Don’t wait for the right opportunity. Create it.
Book in for a free 20-minute career strategy session with one of our consultants, so you can start taking action today!