If I were to google your name what would I find? Do you even appear? Are you clearly distinguishable in your social and professional profiles? Will I get to know the right and relevant things about you, things you would want me to know as a stranger, colleague, potential employer, or business associate? Do you have a personal brand, a reputation in your industry?
One of the major keys to individual and professional success is your reputation, and how your industry peers and colleagues perceive you especially those meeting you for the first time.
Jay ZI am not a businessman but, I am a business, man
If you search online for most top CEOs and executives in the world, you will find them on the first page of the search results and on various sites like, bloomberg.com, wikipedia.org, LinkedIn.com and various news sources in their relevant industries including their own personal websites, and this because they understand the importance of personal and career branding.
In this article, we are going to look deeper at career branding, what it is, and how you can create your own successful career brand. This will help you to be distinguishable and attract more opportunities in the marketplace.
What is Branding?
Companies spend millions on branding, so they can be clearly distinguishable, create trust and this in return increases sales. Now, would you immediately trust and opt for an unproven and unbranded product versus a proven and well-known product?
If you were a product and the industry was looking for you, how would they perceive you? would they even know where to find you if they had to search? Think about this for a moment, this is very important because it says a lot about your current image.
Take a moment and do a quick personal online search using your name and surname, the results should tell you a lot about how people who don’t know you personally will perceive you if they had to search and if you don’t appear on the web results then it’s an even bigger concern.
For most people, it is easier to chose and work with brands and individuals that are proven and have a good reputation in the industry.
Why do I need to brand my career?
Here are some major reasons why you should take care of your career brand
- To rely on your career to take you to greater heights
- To showcase your professionalism through quality articulation
- To attract potential employers
- To showcase your strengths, skills and experience
- To get more business opportunities
- To be clearly distinguishable amongst peers
- To be known and have influence in your area of expertise
Taking great care of your personal and career brand is one of the greatest success factors amongst most successful people.
Remember, you can be strong and intelligent, but if no one knows this about you, you may find it hard to succeed or find opportunities in the marketplace. You cannot hide and expect to be found in this competitive era.
~ Invictus by William Ernest Henley
How can I brand my career?
When building a career brand, I recommend starting with an audit on your current profile or CV document, compare it with other people’s documents in the industry and see if yours is professional, unique and stands out. Alternatively, you can submit your current CV for a free professional CV review or ask the closest professional people to you for help. Be prepared to take the criticism and work to improve on the common shortfalls highlighted.
Remember, when you are active in the marketplace, your CV is the first marketing document that sells you, so, this document needs to be professional without mistakes. Your CV must highlight your key skills, attributes and achievements in a manner that is creative and professional. It must make use of the best layout to better optimise space and decrease the document length. Your writing must be clear, professional and descriptive showcasing your abilities and strengths.
Second is having a strong and professional presence online. To do this you need to first do a search audit on the internet. Start with search engines like google or bing and search for yourself, depending on the results start working towards building your professional online brand.
Here are some tips that will help you with digital profiling:
- Use the right social platforms for the right reasons, LinkedIn is great for professional use.
- Use the right profile privacy settings, and only share with the world things that positively contribute towards your career and professional brand.
- Post and share the right and relevant content to your industry on social platforms.
- Connect and engage with the people who can assist you with your career growth.
- Have a consistent and professional image across all platforms.
Platforms you can use to brand and profile yourself professionally
LinkedIn is the most professional used social platform so, I suggest you start by making sure that you have a profile that highlights and describes you well.
Remember, don’t pretend to be who you are not, be authentic and highlight your strengths.
- Showcase your skills and experience
- Be unique and visible, consistently share engaging information and knowledge
- When connecting with people, send personalised messages of introduction
- Use the right keywords in your profile for better search results
- Match your physical brand with your digital
Be persistent and patient when building your career brand, it takes time, and regularly update your social profiles with professional and relevant content.
For more information read: Important LinkedIn Don’ts
What are the Benefits?
There are great benefits in having a great career brand;
- You become clearly distinguishable amongst peers
- You are seen as a professional person that is serious about their career
- Trust is easily established with strangers or potential employers
- Your audience instantly get a perception of who you are
- You receive a lot of opportunities and job offers
- You get paid more than your average peers
Success is not given, it is attained through continuous improvement and action, backed by determination, belief, and self-discipline. Career branding is one of the critical keys to your professional success, start building yours today and open new doors of opportunity.