Once you’re clear on what you want your personal brand to reflect and the direction you want it to go in, it’s time to share it with the world and make those all-important connections. There’s many ways to be seen and heard, and it’s important to be visible not only in person but also online.
We’ve put together a strategy for getting the most out of your personal brand.
Get your paperwork in order
Your CV is still a strong tool for selling your brand as it will end up in the inboxes of those looking for graduate employees and may be their first impression of you.
It’s important to get your CV in-line with your brand. Start by speaking to the university careers team and attend a workshop to get the nuts and bolts in place. A lot of people have their CVs online so you’ll be able to see how those in your field present their experience. Try and be bold with the design so it reflects you, and include the links to your online profiles.
You will definitely take your CV along to career fairs, but consider having some business cards made up as well. Their pocket-friendly size means you’ll always be ready to share your details with potential employers.
Expand your online brand
If you haven’t already done it, then creating LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages are a good place to start. Take it a step further by creating a website that reflects your personal brand. WordPress has some great free tools for creating a comprehensive profile, where you can not only show off your experience but also share any projects or content.
Don’t just build your profile and then expect the offers to come rolling in. Interaction online is a big part of getting your brand and name out there. Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn, follow influencers on Twitter and contribute to online conversations that relate to the industry you want to work in.
A great way to get your personal brand noticed is to create unique content. If you love writing you could start a blog on your personal website, and LinkedIn now offers users the chance to write articles for the site via their profile.
But there’s plenty of other ways to do it too. Create a video blog on YouTube, a podcast or use your design skills to create infographics that get your personal brand across. You might not have the time to blog every week, but do try and make it a regular occurrence. Every extra piece of work gives you a larger online footprint and more chance of being discovered.
Be prepared for every networking opportunity
It’s worth remembering that opportunities to network can crop up when you least expect it. You might be lucky enough to meet the hiring manager of your dream firm at the pub or sit next to them on the bus. Always have business cards on you and make sure you’re always ready to answer the question “What have you been up to?” with an answer that highlights things like the interesting module you’re studying, or the exciting internship you’ve just completed. Many casual conversations lead to formal interviews.
Learn something new
There must be plenty of skills you wish to acquire, from perfecting your backhand to learning how to speak Italian. To help grow your personal brand focus on one specific skill, ideally one that is relevant to the job you want to get. If you get nervous speaking in public and want to work on your presentation skills then join the university debate team, or if you feel you don’t know the ins and outs of Microsoft Word take an extra IT class.
Courses are a good way of meeting people with similar goals and interests. Not only will you be learning something new, you’ll also be making new contacts that may have the potential to help you in your job search.
To make sure your personal brand is on target, it’s important to get feedback from people you respect. If your message isn’t clear or there’s a mistake in your mission statement it’s best to know as soon as possible.
At university this could be a careers advisor or mentor. Another way this works well is a buddy system with fellow students on your course. You can swap ideas and offer constructive feedback to make sure that your personal brand really reflects what you want it to.
If you think that your personal brand could be a good fit for us, then we look forward to hearing from you. We have a number of graduate management trainee and internship opportunities across the UK.