Branding Yourself for the Job Search

As a recruiter and former career counselor, I am always on the lookout for great tips for jobseekers on how to obtain their next career. Although my focus is currently on finding candidates for my clients, I still have a great interest in helping candidates or jobseekers in any way that I can. Therefore, I decided that a blog could serve as an advantage. One of the biggest tips that I can offer jobseekers is “branding” and how to “brand” yourself.

Traditionally used as a marketing term, “branding” is a process in which a company  creates an image for themselves as a universally recognizable  symbol. Branding, is a genius idea. Branding plays on your ability to associate an image immediately with a company. The idea of individual branding is not new either. Certain individuals have always had their own “brand.” Celebrities, athletes, performers, etc.

I realize that you are not famous. I hate to break this to you, but neither am I. So why should you (the jobseeker) care about branding? That is a good question. And the answer can be attributed to the evolved job market and the online processes that are now an industry standard. If you are successful in branding yourself, you will automatically gain a competitive edge when it comes to landing your dream job. Below, I have listed some of the best (and honest) advice I have to candidates that are interested in creating their own brand.

Consistency: The whole idea of branding is based upon consistency. In other words, you are this person every day every where you go (unless you are at home with your blinds shut). Brands do change over time. Somewhat. But let’s face it- you continue to buy a certain product because that product has continually served to be reliable for you in the past. You should practice this idea. Expectations are a part of humanity. Inevitably, we expect things from each other. If you are a great employee, that will always carry over in a reference from your employer. However, if you are looking for a career advancement, it is important to be this person outside of the workplace too. You should carry these traits with you anytime you are in public because you never know who you will meet.

Dress Appropriately: I know. I agree with you. I should not have to bring this up with professionals. We have all seen that though. Sweatpants in public are not okay. PJ pants in public are not okay. I don’t care if it’s Wal-Mart. Take a shower. Put decent clothes on. Additionally, dress appropriately for a job interview. Thatdoes not include cut off shorts, tank tops (of ANY kind), flip flops and other clothing garments that are considered casual. Remember, your employer also has a brand. They often times have a uniform/dress code too. Honor that if you expect to be given the opportunity to represent their brand.

Get Involved: Community involvement goes a long way. Find something that you love to do and do it for a greater cause. Community involvement is important as this also lends an opportunity to network outside of the workplace, allowing you to get to know other professionals from other backgrounds. These future friends could end up being colleagues down the line, or could provide you with a solid reference.

Use Your Social Media Responsibly: There it is. A whole can of worms just opened up. Social media is a great resource if you are job searching. However, it can also be your worst nightmare. I will follow up on this topic in the future because there is a lot to be said about social media. However, I will tell you that using your social media in a negative way, or in a way that reflects poorly upon your character will result in zero calls. Remember, everyone is on social media-including your future employer!

I hope this initial discussion about branding is helpful. Please feel free to comment with questions or statements about the above article. I will be more than happy to address anything you have to say, as long as you keep it professional!