Establishing your personal brand
Now that you are in the workplace, it is important to represent yourself in a positive light as a combined personal and professional brand. Though it is hard to believe, you as an individual are a brand.
How you market yourself leads to different perceptions, job offerings, and future opportunities. So here are a few things to remember when you're thinking about your professional brand.
Learn who you are and who you strive to be. The first step in presenting yourself to others is to define who you are inside. People appreciate authenticity. Figure out your aspirations, your strengths and weaknesses, and what you stand for. Once you know who you are on the inside, you can truly present your best self and build from there.
Be aware of your online presence. In today's digital age, it has never been more important to be careful online. Type your name into Google and see what comes up. Is it good? Is it bad? Be alert so that you can edit anything that doesn't put you in the best light. Also, be responsible on social media. Anything that you put online is out there for forever-make sure it's something that you want everyone to see. Try and have a purpose with everything you share, especially on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. Pictures, tweets, and posts all add to the portfolio of your professional brand.
Consider establishing a personal website or blog. You don't have to have an elaborate set-up, but having a website shows people that you are someone to watch. This also allows you an avenue to present everything about yourself in the exact way you choose. You can also add articles, bios, and other pieces of work you have done, creating a digital portfolio to present to prospective hiring managers. Check out free website builders like Wix or Weebly for a great starting point if you're not sure where to begin. Keep your website professional and authentic to best reflect your talents.
Associate with other strong brands. Forbes explains that “your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to other brands.” If there is a brand that you highly identify with, let it be known. Whether it be a college, a company, nonprofit organization, or a colleague, find ways to connect with the brand . Follow them on social media sites and share their content. If it is a college, see if there is an alumni group that you can join. It is always helpful to have the support of a large brand.
Define who you want to be. The ongoing narrative to remember is that you are creating and marketing your personal brand. Consider making a personal mission statement about your objectives to not only present to prospective employers, but also as a reminder for yourself. Define your story to the public. Share your story in a respectable way. Stay true to yourself.
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