Now I need a personal brand? Seriously?

Now I need a personal brand? Seriously?

It sounds like another buzz word. A passing trend. Another road block between you and your next “best job ever.”

You’ve put in your educational time getting degreed and/or trained. You’ve beefed up your work experience and related skills. You did the hard part … now you’ve got to launch your own personal marketing campaign?

Yes. Yes, you do. If you want the jobs that jibe with who you are and pay you what you’re worth.

Does it strike you as phony? Braggy? A desperate ploy? Then you are thinking about personal branding the wrong way.

Personal branding in the job hunt is little more than thinking about what you do, who you are and why you are the best choice for any given job. Then, it’s conveying that message in appealing and consistent ways. It’s presenting all that you are and all you bring to the job in a way that makes the hiring manager have to call you.

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Your résumé, cover letters, email signatures and all correspondence should convey your brand. Use color. Use graphics. Get rid of passive voice. Every aspect of your résumé should be there for a reason- to back up your brand.

Social media is a powerful tool in crafting a personal brand. We’ve done it for years without even realizing it on Facebook, then Twitter, and now LinkedIn and others.

Now that Facebook has been around for 10 years … Now that we’ve all posted as many dinner selections, kid pictures and political rants as anyone can handle … “Personal branding consciousness” may be cause to tone all that down and think more about what our online presence says about us.

Many of us are aware that our social media use creates a persona, rather than accurate record, of our lives.  We’ve all have those friends who seem to just ooze happiness, success and getting the most out of life. And we have those who seem to exist in a perpetual state of dismay or anger. These are the unconscious personas we create as we choose which details of our daily life to share.

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Let’s face it: we’ve just got to understand that anything we put out there is viewable. It’s time to craft the message, especially if you are searching for a job.

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