By Mark Fehrn, Candorful Interview Coach
Understanding & Developing a Strong Personal Brand
What is Personal Brand anyway? Understanding and developing your brand can be a difficult subject for many people, and often requires many working variables. Some of the variables that enhance your brand include experience, education, recommendations, and other notable achievements which can be gained both personally and professionally. To sum it up, your brand is a direct representation of yourself. It is built over time, tested in difficult situations, with the resolution that there is never an end to your path. Additionally, your brand is also a reflection of how you work with and treat others, and ties directly in to your personal ethics. Strong brands are built on the foundation of leading a principled life and career, practicing active listening, and asking more questions from others as opposed to always giving answers.
Personal Brand & Social Media: It is very important to be able to successfully highlight your brand, and care for it, just like you would a resume. Highlighting yourself, especially on social media sites like LinkedIn, will enhance your reputation, and build credibility within your network, and those who seek to join your network. You will also be able to share career accomplishments, acquired skills, and any professional recommendations and endorsements from colleagues. These may seem trivial or inconsequential, but the opposite is true. With technology continuing to evolve, your message and profile can be viewed by tens of millions of professionals around the world – one of whom may end up hiring you one day.
Letting Personal Brand Shine Through During Interviews: Another key fact is that most organizations today look for a combination of both skill and cultural fit when selecting candidates for new jobs, or promoting internal employees into larger roles. This is where your personal brand will also come in to play. During the interview process, share your achievements, how you overcame tough obstacles throughout your career and how these experiences have helped shape you to become the leader you are now. While you may feel compelled to be more humble and reserved, this really is your time to shine.How the hiring manager understands and relates to your brand will make the difference, so make sure you let it shine through.
Your Personal Brand & Growth: Now that the foundation of the brand has been established, it is vital to understand that certain aspects of your brand will naturally change over time. Your commitment to ethics will always remain a constant, however you will naturally develop new skills, work in different environments (likely for different managers) and overcome new challenges. It is normal for something that is in your brand’s DNA today to be less visible down the road.
Investing time and thought into what your personal band is now, what you want it to be in the future, and how to get it there is well worth it and will give you a tremendous return on investment.