You might have heard a lot about employer or company brand. But how about personal brand? Either you realise it or not, everyone has a personal brand. To put it simply, personal brand is what people know about you. A brand tells who you are, what you are doing, what you have achieved, as well as what you can offer. As a fresh graduate ready to embark into professional world, it is crucial for you to possess a great personal brand that sets you apart from competitors.
The question remains: how do you build one?
A personal brand should express your vision and mission, reveal both personal and professional qualities, as well as define your commitment for success. Your brand should resonate the best of your personality and passion, such that other people can see your skills and values. Owing to this reason, a personal brand should be authentic and genuine. Rather than trying to develop a brand around something that you are unfamiliar with, it will be better to be honest and stay true to yourself.
As a recent college graduate, your CV is the first medium to introduce your personal brand to the future employers. Through a piece of paper, hiring managers will assess whether you are a good fit for their organisations or not. However, in today’s highly digitised world, online presence is increasingly vital for your personal brand too. While you might have a great CV and go through convincing interview, an employer will eventually fail your candidacy if you showcase unfavourable behaviours on your social media.
Personal brand is not something you can build overnight. It requires time and dedication to find a persona that demonstrates your values in the market place. Having little or even no working experience often makes it tough for fresh graduates to develop a solid personal brand. However, as long as you know the right strategy to optimise your skills and knowledge, you can promote yourself with meaningful personal brand and land your dream job.
Here are some useful tips on how to build a personal brand for recent graduates entering the workforce:
1. Make up your mind
Before building a personal brand, you should find out what you are good at, articulate your expertise, as well as understand what kind of job will help you implement what you have learnt from school and achieve a personal growth.
2. Emphasise your passion
Various studies suggest that passion-driven employees are highly motivated and productive. Working on something you are passionate will boost your energy and zest to keep moving forward and upgrade your skills. Therefore, you should use your passion to lead you to your dream job.
3. Leverage your previous experience
While you might have limited work experience, you should leverage your previous experiences such as internship or volunteer work. Think about the roles, responsibilities, and achievements you have accomplished, while asserting to your future employer that you can do more when you are hired.
4. Manage your online personal equity
Clean up your personal equity from anything that might tarnish your personal brand. If your social media activity contains something ‘crazy’ or offensive posts, you need to remove them before potential employer check them out. Take advantage of professional social media such as LinkedIn to grow your network and meet people from the same field and industry.