A personal brand is invaluable to propelling your career and being able to shape your own personal brand can be a vital turning point in your personal growth. Building a personal brand is not a mythical, abstract idea, especially while being at university. It can be a key to successfully networking and securing both speculative applications and advertised positions through building your confidence in yourself.
What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is all about how you market yourself. Companies in every industry have marketing strategies in place to attract new recruits and it is a two-way process!
How can I build my personal brand?
It is often hard to think about questions such as ‘What makes me different?’ and ‘What makes me stand out?’ when applying for internships and graduate schemes when you haven’t thought about your personal brand.
A good place to start is to make a list of all your key strengths, accomplishments, and obstacles you have overcome. Think about your story, why you like the things you do and most importantly, start thinking about what words you want other people to associate with you when you are not in the room. These are the kinds of things companies and firms look at when assessing your applications so it is great to have a general awareness of how you are presenting yourself.
A great way to build your personal brand is to take ownership of something. Start a club, organise an event or write an article on an area of particular interest that aligns with the industry you are seeking to commence a career in. Begin to work on your role in these activities and push yourself out of your comfort zone. By taking ownership of something, you begin to take ownership of yourself and begin to come to terms with your uniqueness, as well as uniqueness as an applicant.
Building connections and relationships allows you to discover such new opportunities and how to utilise them. Networking itself is a skill and a classic example of utilising your personal brand in order to have connections that are maintained.
II. Social media presence
Social media is now an integral part of networking as well as your personal brand. When you’ve met someone you want to stay in touch with, be proactive and connect with them on LinkedIn. Always send a personal message referring to when you met them or something they mentioned that you found interesting. Connections are all a part of your social media presence.
What is the Go-Giver Attitude?
A turning point in my own personal growth has been adapting my attitude from not just being a go-getter but also a go-giver, something I have found incredibly valuable during my second year studying Law at King’s College London.
In my first year of university, I offered to lend a helping hand for a law-related society, going the extra mile to help organising and delivering events. Through the people I met, I managed to organise work experience over the Summer at the Royal Courts of Justice. As a Campus Champion at Bright Network, I have increasingly seen and utilised the value of growing your own network to aid your own future successes such as learning more about blockchain technology in the legal sector.
Be a go-getter (proactiveness and entrepreneurial drive is important in every commercial industry) and be a go-giver. Organise events at your university for a society to aid other students - it is all linked to your personal brand on and off campus. Don’t be shy and put yourself (your brand!) out there!