Personal Branding: You 2.0

From me.com websites to professional blogs and photo shoots; personal branding is an increasingly exciting phenomenon among smart students, ambitious professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs! But what exactly is personal branding and what should your personal brand say about you? Wondergrads investigates!

A relatively simple concept ‘personal branding is the process that takes your skills, personality and unique characteristics and packages them into a powerful identity’ that confidently separates you from your competitors. Built on your accomplishments, skills, personality, friends, interests and lifestyle, personal branding tells people who you are, what you do and what makes you different.

Take for example forward thinking graduate ‘Kyle’ who created an online resume website where employers were invited to bid for Kyle as an employee via a well designed, edgy website which branded Kyle as a smart, creative, unique graduate. It is not surprising that soon after launching the site Kyle was offered a graduate position whilst also receiving lots of press coverage, publicity and praise. Why? Because effective personal branding ‘gives people irresistible reasons to work with you’.  By creating a persuasive personal brand you can increase your credibility, influence what people think of you and more importantly make people think of you first. So how do you get started?

Start by taking a personal brand assessment! It is important to recognise that even though you may not have intended to create a personal brand people will already have perceptions about what they think you stand for. To find out what your current personal brand says about you ask people who you know to describe you in five words or less. Ask them:

  • What words come to mind when they think of you?
  • What they consider to be your key skills, strengths and weaknesses?
  • & What values do they think you convey?

Then assess:

  • What words came up repeatedly?
  • What perceptions did others have of you?
  • Were you happy with the way you were perceived?

Before beginning this assessment you should also take the time to write down the words you think describe your current personal brand and then compare them to the feedback you received.

Our first FREE course in personal branding will be launching soon! In the mean time we highly recommend that you read Peter Montoya’s book ‘The Brand Called You’ when you’re looking for some student procrastination inspiration!