You first need to understand what personal branding is. It is what people associate with your name, when they think about you. Think about Apple, for example. When you think about Apple, the words that come in your mind are good design, innovation, simplicity and the ‘think different’ tagline. When you think about Mother Teresa, you think about altruistic love, empathy, compassion. Yes, that’s right. Branding works the same way for companies as for people. So, what do people think about you? Or, to put it more specifically, what do employers think about you?

Let’s say you already have a job. Or you don’t, and you are examining all the available jobs in Cyprus via that fit your background. Do you really want your current boss or your future boss to think whatever they want about you? Or is it better to give them the image you want them to have? I suppose you are going with the second case. So, let’s jump into personal branding.

Think of yourself as a company

Imagine that you are a company. How would you advertise you? People think what you show them. So start acting as the person you want them to think you are. Associate your name with that person. But first, you need to decide who that person is. Do you want to be perceived as a professional in a certain sector? Do you want to be perceived as the best team player the company has? Do you want people to believe that you are the right person to address to, when they face a particular issue? Beware though, your personal brand must be consistent with your personality. It represents you. Think of it more as a strategy of enhancing who you are, instead of tricking people.

Build up your own personal website

As you build your personal brand, it is important to provide ways for other people to see it. The best way to accomplish that, is with an online presence. Not only you can write down what you represent, but you can also use images that will enhance the message you want to deliver. Furthermore, it makes it a lot easier for someone who is not directly linked with you, to contact you. Do not forget that you may be the right person a certain employer seeks. Even if you have no idea, you want to provide that employer with some contact details.

Get involved in Social Media

Have an active presence in social media. Don’t be afraid to comment and present your opinion. Offer a different point of view, propose a solution or agree and add something you think would create more value. You never know who is watching.

Have a clear story

If you have multiple talents or areas of interests, don’t confuse people. Think about what really matters to you and build your story around it. Everybody has a story to tell, what is yours? What drives you, why, what is your goal, why are you the right person ‘to’… If you face difficulties, think about people who have a clear story to tell, like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Les Brown.

Remember; a strong personal brand is unique, unambiguous and above all, true.

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Posted by Antonis Papadopoulos

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