First thing, establish what your personal brand is. According to The Balance, a personal brand is defined as, “how you present yourself online and offline.” Now that we’ve established what exactly a personal brand is, let’s focus on the best ways we as PRSSA members can build ours.
Decide on your skillset.
Before you can correctly brand yourself, you have to figure out exactly what it is you stand for and what you want to be known for. Do you want to be known as a communications aficionado? Do you want to show that you’re a quick learner and like to write? Whatever you’re skilled in, make sure you narrow down the specifics in those areas. Once you begin networking and sharing your personal brand with others, employers will remember that you’re hirable for very specific reasons.
In today’s society, where social media is at the forefront, everyone has managed to create their own personal brand — whether they realize it or not. How we present ourselves online can be helpful to some and harmful to others. Our personal brand across social media platforms should reflect how we want our peers and professionals to view us. If you are posting content that you do not want your employer to see, then it would be wise of you to not post it on social media in the first place.
A helpful way for employers to gauge whether someone is hirable or not is to look at their social media profiles for glimpses of their personalities. Make sure you are using Instagram to post pictures of friends and events at school and using Twitter to interact with potential employers rather than retweeting unprofessional memes.
The best way your brand can grow is through networking with others. This can be at an event or even networking with classmates. You never know who is connected to whom and how quickly opportunities can arise. Make sure that how you present yourself to your peers is similar to how you would interact with professionals. Take advantage of any possible ways to network, whether that’s through social media, LinkedIn, networking events or campus events. Sooner or later, you’ll be known for a specific skillset by numerous people and that can only broaden your network.
Honing in on what you want your personal brand is can only help you and making sure you have a set personal brand that you can promote through social media and networking opportunities will continually lead you closer to your career goals. Before you search for job and internship opportunities, make sure you know what your personal brand is.
Carol Wright is a sophomore studying journalism, business and entertainment and marketing at American University in Washington DC. This year she is serving as the website director for her school’s PRSSA chapter. You can find her on Linkedin and read her online magazine Nyota.