If you’re ready to make that next move in your career but haven’t had much luck yet in terms of securing interviews, it’s time to start being proactive and thinking how you can improve your chances. That means reinventing your personal brand.
What is a personal brand?
More and more people are realising that in a more competitive job market, they have to market themselves more effectively, and that means having their own personal brand. Put simply, it is identifying and portraying what makes you as an individual unique and valuable to potential employers. When hiring managers are faced with piles of applications, it will undoubtedly be those who have a strong, distinctive personal brand that will have the most chance of being shortlisted for interview, or, if you’re at the final interview stage, being offered the role itself.
The first step when reinventing your personal brand is to plan where you want your career to go, and what you need to do to ensure you get there. Start to look at things from the hirer’s perspective in the jobs that you are applying for. What are the most important things they are looking for? Look at a range of job specs for the type of roles that you want. Are there some common skills and attributes that they are all looking for? This insight will give you the areas that you need to concentrate on when reinventing your personal brand.
Don’t just be better. Be different.
The vast majority of candidates will try to highlight why they are the best candidate for the job. Whilst there may be some merit in this, when there are a hundred other people claiming this in their applications, it doesn’t really stand out to the hiring manager. What you need to do is show that you are different from the other applicants. Don’t talk about your skills and your attributes. Talk about solutions. Talk about how you troubleshoot, solve problems and proactively come up with effective strategies. Differentiating yourself can really mark you out as a contender for the job.
Like it or not, you will be judged on your appearance, so that means looking after your personal image is key to your personal brand. It’s not particularly about wearing expensive, stylish clothes, but cultivating an outward image that portrays self-confidence and leadership. If you’re someone who wants to get on and get ahead, you’re not really going to do it if you’re scruffy and unkempt are you?
Depending upon what type of role you are applying for, attending relevant industry events can really help differentiate you from the competition. Imagine being faced with five candidates who all have fantastic skills, experience and qualifications. There’s nothing to distinguish them apart from one thing. One candidate has taken the time to attend industry showcases. That person must be really focussed on their career in this industry to do this in their own time and will almost certainly be offered the role over the other high quality candidates.
By reinventing your personal brand and marketing yourself effectively, you can ensure your career is going places.