In a world where individuality is harder to come by than a horse egg, it’s important to paint yourself as a standout job candidate with a strong personal brand. But how do you do that in this day and age?
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What is a personal brand?
The fabled 2:1 degree is one way to go about it but these days, that’s an accessory that everyone has. Going to Russell Group universities and doing extra-curricular activities are good in themselves, but they aren’t gonna cut it in terms of helping you stand out.
So what’s the answer? Well, there’s only one thing you have that no other job candidate in the world has: that’s your brand. Your brand is the story you tell to employers and show to the world that defines who you are. It’s the culmination of your academic achievements, your personal interests, your extra curricular activities and everything in between. Building a good one is vital, and you’ll need to know how to build it before you start showing it off to the world.
There’s only one thing you have that no other job candidate in the world has: that’s your brand.
Outside of social media, your own personal website is a great step to express your fledgling personal brand. This is not just the reserve of the nerds any more. Knowing how to build, create and run your own little corner of the internet will show you have skills outside what you’re pushing on your brand.
Doing this takes content creation and curation skills, as well as a keen eye for aesthetics and design and technical prowess. Here are some steps you can take to get yours popping.
Find your niche. Now I know what you’re thinking: how do I know what the hook of my personal brand is? How do you find that unique trait that keeps people coming back? Well, that’s all down to you. Everybody has their own talents and interests and there are trillions of combinations. You’re more unique than you give yourself credit for. Here are some suggestions for how you can tease out your uniqueness and apply it to your brand:
First, remember that you already have the power.
You don’t have to go far to find what makes you, you. Consider your interests, your opinions, your achievements and your passions and you’ll come up with a niche that suits you in no time. If you went to a good school, got a degree from a great university, climbed a mountain, raised a boatload for charity, started a business or did something incredible – you are already in the awesome minority. Your story is already compelling. Now, tell me what it is in a compelling way.
Everybody has their own talents and interests and there are trillions of combinations. You’re more unique than you give yourself credit for.
Find something you are good at and make yourself amazing.
You don’t have to already be at a rockstar level of skill to push an interest on your personal brand. Taking your audience on a journey is equally as valuable, if not more. If it’s compelling enough, they will stick with you throughout the journey. Locate great people to learn from and invite them to help you. Collaborate. Make mistakes. Encourage people to comment and critique. But most importantly, put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to fail.
Follow the right people, find that niche and exploit it to get them engaged.
If you are really interested in music, art, or politics, for example, then the chances are that your friends will have similar or opposing views. At university, you have students with the time and energy to commit with very little personal loss, so test the waters and go for it. Engage with other people on the subjects that matter to you and you’ll sharpen each other. Don’t be afraid to share and discuss ideas with people. Their ideas might give you an idea of how to do something differently or make an improvement.
With these tips at your disposal, you should have everything you need to build, maintain and expand your own personal brand. Show this off to potential employers, and they are bound to find you compelling and possessing a level of initiative worthy of a job offer.
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