What is your personal brand? Are you confused because usually companies like Coca-Cola and Disney have distinct brands? Creating a personal brand does not mean turning yourself into an object to be sold, but a way to distinguish yourself from other people through presenting a specific image of yourself.
For major corporations, like Coca-Cola and Disney, their brands are what they are known for. Coca-Cola is refreshing and Disney is family fun. Your personal brand is who you are, what you want to be known for, and the words people think of when your name is brought up. Developing a certain image is a way for you to stand out from the crowd. The concept is quite large and sometimes difficult to pin point. However, building your personal brand can be something you work on a little each day, which will develop and change over the course of your life.
For a simple and quick start to developing your brand, try these steps:
- Think of all the words people associate with you or words that you think exemplify who you are. Go beyond simple words like organized or funny, think about how you make people feel. Is there anything about your personality that makes you unique?
- Consider your function. Are you a student, an entry-level worker, or in the midst of your career? You will want to tailor your brand to your job or service you provide. With these words you have in mind, see if you can combine any to form a phrase or mantra to clearly and authentically explain who you are.
As your brand is forming, you may be wondering “why am I doing this”? You brand will be invaluable when building contacts in your network, establishing professional references, and starting your career. In fact, the Northern Arizona University Career and Graduate School Expo is approaching quickly and this can be your first chance to practice utilizing your personal brand. When meeting with employers, think about how you want them to perceive you. It’s one thing to start building your brand, but communicating it can be the hardest. That’s where you need a killer elevator pitch for when you only have a few moments with employers at the Expo.
Your elevator pitch is a way for you to make a positive impression by communicating your personal brand. This is not a chance for you to regurgitate your resume or beg someone to hire you, but use this time to speak to your highest accomplishments, what are you working on currently, and your major goals.
If you are looking to dive deep into formulating your brand, check out this online workbook that first identifies who you are, then helps craft your brand.
Now you are ready to attend the Career and Graduate Expo, meet with employers, and create your network!