What do others say about you when you enter the room? Are you considered confident, creative, an idea machine or something more along the lines of boring, nervous, self-conscious, average? Knowing who you are and how to boost the image of your positive qualities is important for getting the job and doing it well — this is called personal branding.
Just like a product or company, your brand will include everything from how you present yourself to how you perform. You can’t make yourself something you’re not, but you can realize who you are and develop that into something strong, well-communicated and working in your favor.
Discovering Your Brand
You will need to start mentally picturing your best qualities. Even if your favorite qualities aren’t the first ones people most often notice about you, write them down – part of branding yourself will be to improve the best characteristics and draw out the ones you will need to get the job.
Discovering Their Brand
You won’t become someone different for the job, but an important part of branding yourself for a specific interview or company is to know what they are looking for in their employees and what you will need to do the job well. As you research the available job and the company, consider what benefits you will bring to the table and highlight those in your application and interview.
Developing Your Brand
As you go, there are many things that will continue to show others who you truly are as a person. There are things you can do to hurt your brand or strengthen it:
Every Situation is a Chance: Every commitment is a point that will show you honor your word and have a realistic understanding of what you can manage. Every ethical choice shows you can be trusted even in a difficult situation. Don’t get lax in building yourself to become the kind of person you can be proud of.
Dress to Impress: Yes, how you dress will reflect on your brand. Professional says one thing while sloppy and frumpy says another. Too revealing? Yep, that says something too.
Private Conversation: You might be great at the job and ace the interview, but the water cooler is a place to build your brand as well. Don’t get caught up in the office gossip or get catty during private employee chitchats – word will spread.