Do you know what your personal brand is? Personal branding focuses on your most important product, you! Developing a personal brand requires some soul searching but if you are ready to do the work, the results can be life changing.
Who are you?
Firstly, do you know who you really are? What are you good at, what are your values, passions and personality? Creating a successful personal brand requires you to be clear on the defining qualities of who you are.
Building a recognisable personal brand opens up professional opportunities. If you are looking for a job, you want your potential employer to associate your personal brand with something that they need on the team. In today's competitive working environment you can't afford to blend into the background. You need to stand out from the crowd, you need to separate yourself from the competition. You can only achieve this by creating a recognisable personal brand.
Create a vision for your life
Just as businesses create vision and mission statements, creating a personal brand begins in the same way. You need to create a personal vision. While we can't control everything that happens in our lives, we can create a vision for our life and the steps that we can take to achieve this vision. Your vision should include where you see yourself in the next 10 or even 30 years. Think about what would make you happy. Remember there is no right or wrong answer. Perhaps you dream of one day owning a home by the beach or a happy family?
While social media is an excellent marketing channel, don't only use it as such. If you come across as unauthentic you will push people away. People love to see the other side of who you are – what do you do on weekends, what your hobbies are and what other interests do you have? This will make you look more human and will attract more people to you. Also remember to be authentic in your engagement with others. Being yourself is always best.
Your accomplishments are the foundation of your career brand and your brand story. Before you look for work, think about what you want your brand to stand for – and develop a plan to gain experience in areas that are relevant or will add value. Do more than what you are expected to do. Volunteer for new and challenging assignments that build your brand. Consider freelancing or consulting. Get the experience you need by seeking out multiple opportunities that may elevate your brand.
There is no point having an amazing brand if no-one knows about it. There is definitely a fine line between bragging and promoting so remember to opt for promotion rather. A CV is one of the oldest tools of promotion for job-seekers. In it you should list all your key accomplishments, skills and education. Develop print and online career portfolios, as well as a personal website.
Always continue to learn, even after you've achieved your degree dreams. In today's competitive and ever-changing work environment, you need to keep up to date with your skills development to stand out from your peers. And it's not even necessary to go for post-graduate study (although that is also good). You can do many short or online courses that will broaden your skills base and make you more marketable in the workplace.
DID YOU KNOW?
Rosebank College is a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), SA's largest private higher education provider. The IIE is the most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.
The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.