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Brand ‘you’

November 2, 2022 by Natasha Walker

Brand ‘you’

Companies spend millions on branding, but you don’t have to!

What you do need to spend is time and effort making sure your image truly represents you, is clear, and appeals to employers in your industry. Like it or not, everything you do influences your reputation. While you’re studying is the perfect time to take some steps towards creating a positive reputation.

During the recruitment process, in the eyes of an employer, you are a product. It is important to understand what differentiates you from every other applicant and how it can get you on an employer’s most wanted list.

Know what you are offering – product, service, experience, mindset, expertise, talent, problem-solving, creative thinker…

What is personal branding?
Basically, personal branding is how others perceive you. Your personal brand should combine what is unique about you – your skills, experiences, values, ideas, and principles – and express them in a deliberate and consistent fashion that sets you apart from everyone else.

Creating your brand means looking at yourself from different perspectives, and then ensuring the right people see the right things about you.

Why is personal branding important?
A strong personal brand ensures that people see you the way you want them to. It gives you the opportunity to highlight your strengths, passions, knowledge and skills, making you memorable.

Done well, personal branding can get you noticed by hiring managers and employers. It can help position you as an attractive candidate committed to your professional development and success. By emphasising the personal aspects and experiences that define you, your brand could help you find meaningful and fulfilling work.

It can also help you connect with mentors who will support you throughout your career journey.

How do I create my personal brand?
Authenticity is the key to successful personal branding, so:

  1. Know yourself
    Use self-reflection and introspection to determine what you enjoy doing and what attracts the most compliments. Questions to ask yourself include: what do you do really well? What comes easy to you? What do you like doing? What do others say you are good at?
  2. Know your audience
    Understanding who your target audience is will allow you to make your messages relevant to them and create a personal brand that will get you noticed.
    If you’re targeting potential employers, our course specific Career Guides can help you discover what specific skills, knowledge and experience employers in your chosen field are actually looking for.
  3. Create a unique statement
    Summarise who you are and what you can do. Keep it concise and use it consistently across all your communication channels. It should give people a snapshot of what you bring to the table.
  4. Develop an elevator pitch
    This will be a 30 second / 75 word statement that introduces you and announces your skills and aspirations. Practice your pitch so it is ready to use at any and every opportunity.
  5. Network
    Be prepared to use your elevator pitch to introduce yourself at any professional or industry event. Follow up with the people you meet to create warmer connections and share opportunities proactively.
  6. Revise regularly
    As you and your skills, knowledge and experience grow, it is important to revise your brand and elevator pitch to reflect newly acquired skills and knowledge.

Remember to act purposefully and consistently with the way you depict yourself. You want your personal brand to match what people say about you when you are not around.

And don’t forget – your personal brand is probably the only one that hasn’t already been taken!

Don’t miss the online Graduate Gateway – Personal Branding on Monday 21 November. This workshop will explore how you can develop your unique personal brand and build industry connections.

Can’t make it next week? Book a spot anyway and we’ll send you a recording of the session afterwards.

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