Illustration: Ashley Siebels
These days the term “branding” means so much more than what comes to mind when you think of a particular company or product. Brands, in the traditional sense, of course still exist, but in this day and age of social media importance, it’s more critical than ever for individuals to brand themselves, as well. Developing your own personal brand doesn’t have to be intimidating, though. Just a few simple steps can help you narrow down the best approach, which will hopefully help you land your dream job.
Here’s how to create a personal brand that will enhance your job search:
Define your brand
You might think that “writer,” “illustrator,” or “content creator” is enough of a personal brand, but really, those are just job titles. To develop your actual brand, you’ll need to put a little more thought into what it is that you actually create (or hope to create) on a daily basis with your work.
For example, perhaps as an illustrator you’re well known for your quirky caricatures, or as a writer you’ve really cornered the market on crypto-currency, international travel, or single parenting. Whatever it is you’re best at in your particular job, own it and flaunt it in every way possible. This could mean developing a brand statement, getting new headshots that drive home your specialty, re-writing your resume to really showcase those particular talents, or, likely, all of the above.
Do a social media overhaul
Everyone has embarrassing photos from back in the day when they first joined Facebook, but since Facebook is about so much more than just connecting with old friends these days, it’s time to do an overhaul of your profile to ensure it’s professional and on-brand. It’s not just Facebook that needs updating, though—be sure to check in across all of your social media sites (Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) to ensure there isn’t anything embarrassing that you wouldn’t want potential future employers to see.
After that’s done, consider updating your sites so that it’s clear what your new brand is across all platforms. This could mean uploading your new headshots, adding your brand tagline, sharing your new work, or starting conversations with others in the same field. A good rule of thumb is to do a Google search for yourself, and whatever comes up that you have access to, change it so that your brand is front and center.
Fill in any holes
It’s not enough to just have a LinkedIn profile that showcases your professional brand these days, you should really consider having multiple online places for people to find you. If you don’t already have a professional website, create one.
If you aren’t on Facebook, great! Start a new page with only your professional brand and goals in mind. Also consider checking on other networking platforms or job forums where you can upload your new resume and share your new brand-oriented social media sites for potential new projects and jobs.
Check back in, frequently
Developing a personal brand isn’t a one-and-done process, it’ll require constant upkeep and checking in. The more you interact on your new brand-conscious social media sites, the more likely you will be to cash in on new opportunities.
That means you should try to post to your Twitter and Facebook feeds at least daily (multiple times a day is even better), and always share your own work, as well as the work of others that you find interesting or that is in line with your own brand objectives and goals.