Toward the end of 2012, talk increased about the importance of personal branding. Companies are looking for employees who can answer the question “What are you about?” instead of “What have you done?” But what does personal branding really mean and why is it so important in 2013?
Personal branding can be defined influencing how you and your career are perceived by others in a distinctive way. It’s more than simply having a job title. Personal branding takes into account the whole package of an individual: physical appearance, values and so forth. Whatever it is that makes you uniquely distinguishable is part of your own personal brand.
Don’t think of it as hype, think of it as your personal reputation. For example, why do you think internal candidates are more likely to get hired over external candidates? Or why are referrals so important? It all ties back to the power of your personal brand—it’s the reason why people get jobs.
Now, this isn’t to say that having a clearly defined personal brand is going to get you whatever job you want. Employers are like consumers—they are looking for the most valuable employee who can fulfill the desired need for their company. Therefore, your brand might not be the right fit for that company. Make sure to do your research to ensure proper “brand alignment.”
So what’s the next step? In part two of this topic, we’ll discuss just that—building your brand in less than 10 steps. Stay tuned!