We are living in a time when competition in the work force is intense. With limited job opportunities and multiple applicants, how can you stand out from the rest? Recently, I read an article about personal branding and I thought I’d share three simple steps that summarize what it really means to have a “brand”.
Step 1: Extract
Determine your brand. What sets you apart from the rest of your competition? This involves identifying specific skills, abilities and traits that make you unique and relevant –defining yourself. Who are you? What are you about? What is your passion? Your vision? Your dream? Your strengths? An effective evaluation of yourself will require introspection and time, but if you don’t know who you are then no one else will.
Step 2: Express
Once you have identified your unique qualities and skills, you must determine how you want to communicate them to the world. After all, if you are a great communicator but you never get up to speak, how will anyone know what you are capable of doing? In other words, show people who you really are. This may require some footwork such as tailoring your resume, reworking your elevator pitch, or crafting a personal statement, tools that will all help to maximize your “brand”.
Step 3: Exude
This step is what I call the perfecting of your brand: how to reflect your brand in your everyday life. Make your brand become you so that even when you are planting tulips in your garden, you are still known for that something. Your appearance, activities, personal network and even use of technology all play a part in defining who you are and making that definition stick. Remember, what makes you unique can make you successful, once you determine how to use it.
Do you have a personal brand? If not, take some time today to think about how you can start the process.
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Kess-Ann Grant ‘09