Personal Branding

Posted 09 October 2019

Every company has a brand – a unique corporate identity that communicates what the company stands for and the values they embrace in delivering their product or service.

The reputation of the company and brand plays a significant role in the decision-making process of consumers, directly influencing the company’s profit stream. Evidently, the overall reputation of a brand is determined not only by the price and quality of the product or service, but is reliant on a variety of factors.

These factors can range from the company’s contribution to society and the environment, the credit and credibility of the company, or even the cultural values that the organisation possesses. With the same logic at hand, the first agenda to tackle when establishing a personal brand should be about defining how you want yourself to be perceived and presented to others.

Analyse yourself

Authenticity is a fundamental part of personal branding, thus making it crucial for you to start by knowing yourself. Before thinking about who you want to be, analyse who you are and identify your current capacity. Assess your strengths and weaknesses, your interests and the values you live by. You may have the same technical skills or certificates that another candidate may have, but what social characteristics and qualities do you have that distinguishes you from them? How can the skills and traits that you possess create a synergy effect and amplify your capacity? Ensuring that you know the answers to these questions will help you build the foundation for your personal brand.

Determine what attributes you want to be known for

Your personal brand is not only a reflection of your current capabilities, but rather a roadmap of how far your potential can stretch your current capacity. Reflect on what attributes you want to be known for and in what areas you want to expand your existing skills and knowledge on. Setting these goals and forecasting your future competencies can give you direction and guidance in the process of carving out your personal brand. Brainstorm what the employer of your dream company would be envisioning when searching for their ideal candidate. How does this align with your skills and values? What attributes do you already have and can potentially develop? Defining your target external audience and answering such questions with them in mind will allow you to flip your perspective and understand the optimal way of delivering your story.

Build your online presence

With the prevalence of social media and online tools available, individuals possess a vast amount of power to make an impact in society. Your ability to leverage digital platforms and utilise it to promote your personal brand can extensively alter the scale of audience you reach and determine the level of influence you make. If your goal is to promote your personal brand across a large external audience, think about ways to leverage social media and personal websites to build your online presence. Although social media is a highly personal space for you to share daily life updates or thoughts, keep in mind that all your activity online will influence your overall reputation and brand.

Before taking any action online, assess whether it aligns with your personal brand goals and make sure it doesn’t contradict or undermine any elements you aim to encompass in your brand. If the target audience for exposing your personal brand is your future employer, focus on developing your professional profile via platforms such as LinkedIn, ensuring that you clearly state your career goals, competencies and interests, further highlighting the social and soft-skills you possess. Furthermore, actively engage with industry-thought leaders and make efforts to communicate your knowledge and insight with those that have an interest in the same field. By doing so, you can expand your presence in the industry and build a professional reputation amongst your networks.

All in all, possessing the ability to demonstrate your technical knowledge and expertise has been and is a crucial part in securing a career in the IT industry. Amidst the rapid digital transformation and technological advancements taking place, IT professionals will continue to confront the growing challenge of having to build the resilience and necessary soft-skills to complement their technical skills.

The level of effectiveness in showcasing your social and professional capacity will determine whether you can secure a competitive advantage amongst the crowd. Start cultivating an authentic personal brand and utilise it to project your potential and amplify your professional career.

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