Branding - as a career tool

You as a professional are exclusive. You are a combination of qualities, professional qualifications, work experience, educational qualifications that completely unique. It would very improbable to have another person who could duplicate your persona. Being unique gives you an extreme advantage over your competitors. That advantage, usually, is clearly visible to you. However, does your employer see it the same way? In order to be successful, you will need to have complete clarity regarding your strengths and weaknesses and how these could contribute to the overall goal of your employer.

Developing a personal brand

When you are in the market for a job, you are a commodity and the client is he employer. In order to be picked up from the shelf you have to be attractively packaged in the first place to attract the attention of the client at the first glance, since the client/ customer might be too busy to cast a second glace. Your 'packaging' is your appearance. The employer will create his/her first impression of you in the first 15-20 seconds he/she lays eyes on you. This first impression will take sometimes more than six months of continuous interaction to change, if at all.

Are you ready to create the right impression on the Interviewing Board? How can you create the right impression and sustain it through your professional career? Is your outwards demeanor matching your professional niche? Does your appearance promise quality?

Role of Appearance in Building of Personal Brand

Your brand starts with the way you look, the way you dress, the way carry yourself, the way you move, behave and talk. These are outward aspects that the person who looks at you takes in all these aspects simultaneously in the first 20 seconds. Are you ready to create a positive impression?

This means that you should be dressed neatly in clean ironed clothes, the clothes themselves should be matching the present trends and fashions, have your hair groomed well, have your hands manicured, your shoes polished, your socks/ stockings impeccable and matching the outfit worn, and so on. Is your handbag, your laptop bag your mobile phone, your key chain tell the same story?

Is the expression on your face showing that you are confident, or are you coming across as a timid, do-not-know-where-to-run type of an individual? Often, exceptional candidates are rejected because they do not inspire confidence. Your mastery on your subject, profession should be visible from your face, from the way you carry yourself.

Are you able to stand out in a crowd from a positive perspective? Do you inspire confidence and dependability? Do you look efficient, in charge of yourself? In order to get a honest answer to these questions you could video-tape yourself in mock interviews and then watch the tape (and ask your friends to watch the tape) and see how you are coming across. You will be surprised at the difference between what you think you look like (and behave) and what you really come across like. Identify your weak points and work on them till you feel comfortable with what you see.

In short, if you are a professional and want to be seen as one, you should dress as one. People should, at the first glance feel confident about your capability.

Role of your language in your correspondence in Building of Personal Brand

The way you write your CV (the design, fonts, format), the language you use in your cover letter will emphasize and support your personal brand. Ensure that this does not send a conflicting message. Your business correspondence should totally complement and reinforce your overall image. The moment it shows any discrepancy, your brand image will suffer.

For example, if you were applying for a CEO position you would be expected to be formal, crisp, organized and decisive. Are these traits being reflected from your letters, your CV, your thank you notes? If not, you will be not be able to develop and establish the right personal brand. You may develop standard templates with the appropriate style, font, design which could save you time when you write official letters.

Develop a tag line, which will set you apart from your competition. The tag line should represent your essence in one simple sentence. Your value, your uniqueness should stand out from your CV through that one tag line.

Role Of Self-Clarity In Building Of Personal Brand

In order to build your personal brand, it is very important that you, first of all, know what your are. Without self-clarity you will never be able to project a confident and focused picture of yourself. The following guidelines will help in this task:

  1. Have a tag line, as the name of the CV. This tag line should represent in one crisp sentence what you are professionally
  2. Personally, go through a SWOT analysis and identify your core strengths and values. Do not focus only on the professional aspects, but also your personal passion. Ask yourself, if you were to have all the money in the world and have to work only for pleasure, what you would do. The answer to this question will give you what you are passionate about.
  3. Be clear about your talents ? talents are outside skills (it is what supports your skills). Talent is what will make you stand out in a crowd ? what is that quality in you? Chose only three and apply them into your CV and professional achievements.
  4. Your tag line should be compatible with all the three points above. This is your brand and everything should support it and build on it.
  5. Lastly, keep in mind that you are supposed to evolve, and hence your brand will evolve. Your tag line cannot be the same for more than five years. If it is so, then you are stagnating professionally and personally

Role of Marketing in Building of Personal Brand

Did you know that almost three quarters of the cr?me-de-la-cr?me jobs are landed through networking? Yes, this is the potential of networking. Only about 25 percent of the jobs worth their salt are filled through advertisements. The rest come through references and recommendations of professionals who have made their mark in somebody's minds. In order to ensure that you have a good network, you should pay attention to the following:

  1. Be active professionally. Attend conferences, workshops. Organize conferences, workshops. Be in constant touch with your peer groups.
  2. When attending conferences make yourself known to the participants and be the first to start a rapport with them.
  3. Introduce yourself to others by your tagline. Let them know your specialty at the outset of the conversation/contact. Have a good number of visiting cards ready and distribute the same freely. At the same collect visiting cards from your new contacts.
  4. Each contact you make in a potential network by himself/herself. They will have their own universe of influence and you might benefit of it sometime. Maintain active contact with professionals from your own profession and complementary occupations.

Role of self-value in Personal Branding

Professionals who are confident about themselves know their worth in the market. You should be able have a good and realistic self-evaluation of the monetary value of your talents and skills. Be always ready to negotiate for better prospects. This quality, of course, comes from a high self-confidence and self-belief.

A person who knows what they are would not hesitate to refuse positions or offers that do not appreciate their worth. They should be able to refuse outright anything that is below their professional self-evaluation. This is called professional self-importance, which is moderate measure builds your brand.