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Five Ways to Brand Yourself

They say first impressions are everything. How we present ourselves to the world makes a key difference when it comes to winning a job. Having a strong, personal brand that shows the world who you are as a professional affects what others think and feel about you. In Active Interviewing: Branding, Selling, and Presenting Yourself to Win Your Next Job, Eric Kramer shares how job seekers can brand themselves to stand out on the road to professional success. Share these tips with your students:

1.Decide what your professional brand is. Complete a self-assessment and consider things like what your values are, where your skills lie, and what kind of leader you are. Don't forget to add in your personality and then reflect on what benefits you bring to the table, what you're personally proud of, and what others would say your gifts are.
2.Communicate your brand in a statement. Communicate your brand in a brief, impactful statement. It should be no longer than a couple of sentences that succinctly sum up the value of who you are, what your value is, who you serve, and why a job you're doing would be unique. Make sure your statement is solution-oriented and something your audience will recall later.
3.Repeat your statement! Consistency matters and we know that the more people hear something, the more apt they are to remember it. Use your brand statement often and make sure it's connecting what your actions. Help others make the connection between you and your brand in every interaction possible.
4.Create Brand Fans. Make sure that others have positive interactions with you by offering exceptional experiences. Go the extra mile when they're not expecting you to – take on tasks that aren't your responsibility or that help someone else in need. You'll see a return in their long-term support.
5.Make sure your online brand is solid. Like we mention in this week's article on establishing an online persona, who you are is visible beyond where you are physically at that moment. Your online presence is an extension of your personal brand. Having a visible, easily searchable professional profile online, making sure your resume is engaging in an online environment, and keeping your online identity clean are steps you can take to ensure your online brand is what you want it to be.

Reference: Content adapted from Kramer, Eric P. 2012. Active Interviewing: Branding, Selling, and Presenting Yourself to Win Your Next Job. 1st ed. Boston: Course Technology, Cengage Learning.

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