How do you help yourself stand apart from the crowd? When applying for jobs these days, it’s not uncommon to have over 100 applicants (or more). Maybe you are starting your own side hustle, how do you stand out from the other brands on social media? How do you give yourself an edge that’s more than just a great cover letter or fancy social post? I believe the key is developing your Personal Brand.
Immediately when I say Personal Brand, the first things that come to mind are Instagram and LinkedIn (we’ll come back to these later). However, your Personal Brand begins when you start to create a reputation. This is exactly how I got my first full-time role. I had been working part-time throughout my university studies, often only working once or twice a week at a maximum. But every time I came in, I made a conscious effort to put my best foot forward, take on extra responsibilities, and make decisions that were really outside of my position description. All of this, I did based on one motivation – how can I help people more? Helping people quickly became part of my Personal Brand.
When a management position became available, I was astounded to find that people within my team had gone out of their way to recommend me! At this stage, I hadn’t even indicated I was interested, but the Personal Brand that I had created around helping people, meant that there was already internal demand for me to take on the role. I did eventually take on the position, which started a trend of non-traditional job applications.
Building an external network is crucial if you want to take your reputation to the next level. What a lot of young people struggle with is the idea that building a network takes a long time. It’s not often that a connection you make will result in an immediate job offer for you. For example, some of the relationships that I built through industry events and meet-ups only yielded results 12 months after having made the initial connection. In some instances, I was offered a role directly without officially applying. Roles can often skip the formal advertisement and are filled via network connections. Meaning applicants are often found through the hidden job market, which you can only find yourself on if you have a Personal Brand and start building your network! My resume and cover letter are basically bench-warmers at this stage.
For my latest role application, having an online presence to accompany my Personal Brand was instrumental in securing the role. Through both LinkedIn and Instagram, I had been sharing my professional achievements and passions, just to showcase who I was, and my overall capabilities. This very effectively validated my point of difference, my strengths and my personality when it came to applying for my next role. Without these social media posts, I most likely would never have secured the role and wouldn’t be writing this blog!
Thanks for taking the time to read a little about my journey of applying for jobs off the back of my Personal Brand. If you’d like to learn more about how you can take similar steps and build your own Personal Brand, we’d love to see you at St Paul’s School at 8:30am on May 17th for ‘Personal Branding 101’ presented by BOP Industries.
Limited to 30 spots, so register now: https://thinkcie.com.au/events