Why is self-branding important?
Job search is tough. It is an emotional roller-coaster ride that takes you from the highs of a perfect interview, to the lows of finding out that someone else was offered the position. It is also very exciting to know that you, as a candidate, have the skill set required to meet the needs of today's employers. Developing a self-brand to market your skill set, just like other products in the market, will position you to stand out from the competitive candidates.
A brand is defined as: "A name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and differentiate them from those of competitors". Similarly, a self-brand enables you to convince potential employers to hire you.
Here are the main components of developing a self-brand:
* Discovering yourself
* Defining and building your brand
* Developing your resources and building a network
* Marketing your brand
There are many definitions of a self-brand; the simplest is:
"Your personality, values, ethics, business standards, and everything that makes you who you are, are all fundamental parts of your personal brand."
Self-branding involves many elements, such as soft skills, technical knowledge, communication skills and analytical skills, to name a few. In today's competitive job market, employers are not only looking for technical expertise, but for soft skills as well. Sort skills include flexibility, team-building, leadership and an ability to collaborate, all of which are qualities needed to succeed in a group-based employee environment.
Today, employers want knowledgeable, well-trained employees with a high level of transferable and interpersonal skills.
Who has the most invested in your career? It's you !
Who knows your skills, competencies and attributes best? You!
How can you use your knowledge to achieve your career objectives? Use it to develop a self-brand!
Now you are ready to enter or re-enter the workforce, ask yourself these questions:
* Can you successfully promote yourself to an employer?
* Are you prepared for the rigors of the interview?
* Can you identify all of your transferable and interpersonal skills?
* Do you know how to dress for success?
* Do you know how to set yourself apart from other candidates applying for a position?
REFLECT & EVALUATE
Discover yourself by using a SWOT analysis
Highlight your talents and skills
Develop an action plan to improve your weak areas, seek professional direction
Research for new opportunities and options