You’re all set to graduate and snag that degree. Your future career as a computer programmer or financial analyst is out there, waiting for you to take it by the reins. You’ve also begun building your personal brand – like prepping your online website and redesigning your CVs – and you hope for it to open some doors for you once it’s time.
Yet with every awesome personal brand, there are things to be mindful of and things that are expected of you if you intend for the brand to stick. We’ve compiled some tips here for you that are good to know as you journey out of university and into the working world.
#1: Your personal brand is who you are – at all stages of life
It’s important to know that your personal brand is as dynamic as you are. That’s because the brand is you, and you can’t expect yourself to remain the same forever. Through years of experience, you’ll grow and become a new person with each passing day. Eventually, in five years, your brand will have to differ from the brand you first started out with. You’ll have to roll with the punches and keep working at it, just as you’re working on your skills and knowledge.
#2: Every day contributes to your brand’s growth
Your personal brand began to take shape the moment you took on that internship position all those years ago – and even way before that. Assuming you haven’t had a major career change since then, your entire career history will contribute to the forming of a compelling personal brand. The schools you’ve attended and how you’ve interacted with people over the years – all of this adds up to the heart of your personal brand. Keep that in mind!
#3: It requires commitment and effort
A personal brand is more than just what you write on your CV. It will include a multitude of social media platforms, whether it’s Twitter or LinkedIn. The world is going digital, day by day, and you’ll have to anticipate engaging with communities both online and offline. Your personal branding shines through in the way your profiles look, the information you share, and the interactions you have daily. It takes a lot of commitment and time, and it’ll eventually become a part of you.
#4: Your online presence matters – a lot
In that same vein, your online presence is vital. This is especially so, since employers are known to search you up before an interview to find out what kind of person you are. The information you release publicly will stay on the internet forever, and it’s easy to piece a person together through their digital footprints. Ensure your personal website is sleek, make sure your Twitter accounts are appropriately managed or even locked, and strive to always make a good impression on every platform.
#5: Share your life – but within reason
It’s not wrong to say that people want to see your human side. Everyone has days where they’re not all business, after all! But it’s important to think before you share, especially if you’re intending to post up wild pictures of that night at Zouk in full view of your employers and potential clients. Personal branding has everything to do with telling a story, and what you share contributes to that. Curate your content and social media accounts and find that balance between sharing your life and … sharing too much.
#6: A personal brand will not get you hired immediately
Just because you have a kickass personal brand doesn’t mean potential clients and employers are going to start pursuing you. You must put in the work consistently, whether it’s doing your homework before a crucial interview or meeting with a client to discuss a potential project. Your good impression depends on what you do before and after, including sending polite thank-you notes or messages to your clients for their time, and constantly working on your CV and updating it. Put in effort into selling yourself and don’t expect the personal brand to hustle on your behalf. You are the brand, after all!
As you work on your personal brand and start sending out applications for that next gig, make sure to remember these tips. It’s easy to be charmed by someone’s effective personal brand and statements but remember that every successful person has put in significant amounts of hard work to get to where they are today. The same is expected of you.
Remember to have fun out there, too!