Building your self-brand
Like it or not, you are a brand. Your parents were your Creative Directors and they decided your brand name, unfortunately you didn't have much say in this exercise. However, the rest of your self-brand and how you are perceived by others is now up to you.
Here are a few tips that will help you stand out in the creative industry.
Find your USP
Deciding on your very own USP is always a great starting point when building your self brand; something different yet truthful will make you memorable and desirable. Your brand assets already exist, they have been sculpted by your personal life experiences. For example, the way you talk to people might be your tone of voice. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, use what you already have to portray a truthful, but unique image. Your morals and ethos in life might stand as your brand values. Ask yourself, what do you believe in? Why do you do what you do? What makes you different? Dig deep.
Once you have your USP, make this your primary focus; everything must link back to this. Live and breath your USP, ensure a potential employers knows exactly what you stand for and exactly what you offer. It will define you, and it will ensure you stand out. For example, you might be the empathetic strategist who ‘walks a mile in other people's shoes’ or the creative who ‘wears his heart on his sleeve’.
Audit your own accounts
Be your own devil's advocate, just as you would with a potential client pitch. Ensure all your social media accounts are up to date and every fine detail is accounted for. Ask yourself, is your profile picture on LinkedIn recent and professional looking? Does it contradict with your Facebook profile photo? And don’t forget to update your privacy settings; there are some things that’ll go best unseen by potential employers.
Consistency is key
Collate your brand assets. Align your social media channels with your CV. You are hired dependent on the information your potential employer has access to. This is often your online presence and digital footprint. So, if you are applying for a creative role at an agency, you need to brand yourself online to stand out amongst competitors.
Are your LinkedIn contact details and job title aligned to your CV? Have you uploaded your CV to your profile? This is a must when job searching, many employers or recruiters will contact candidates directly through LinkedIn.
Think before you publish
Although most candidates are sensible enough to not bad-mouth current employers or colleagues online, there are some less obvious ways your online self-brand can impact your job hunt. Always remember, the first thing a recruiter or employer will do is Google you. Make sure there isn't anything on the internet that could jeopardise your chances of landing a dream job. You want prospectus employers to remember your USP, not your controversial hate post from 2010.
Be one step ahead
Do your research. When it comes to interviews it’s common sense to do your homework on the brand and their values. However, there’s a difference between doing your interview research and portraying yourself as a pushy candidate. Don’t connect on LinkedIn until you receive a job offer.