Finding a job is all about selling your “professional brand”. But what does it mean? We will tell you 5 ways to build your professional brand in no time.
The term “professional brand” is becoming a buzzword recently but what does it exactly mean?
In a few words, your professional brand is how people see you at work and in Linkedin. It’s how colleagues and ex-colleagues describe you and it’s the image that you are projecting in your professional network. It encompases your professional experience, your work ethics, your values and your professional and personal choices.
Having a strong professional brand is key for a successful career. It’s essential to build it, maintain it and continuously advertise it. It will guide your career. You need to clearly define who you are, your value proposition, your achievements and the value you will deliver professionally.
These tips will help you to build your professional brand:
1. Define your Profile
Companies are looking for people to deliver value to their clients. Keeping this in mind will help you to define your profile.
Take a notepad and write down your major projects and achievements. Be specific about it, add qualitative and quantitative aspects. Define your career pathway, the role and the next role you want to reach in your career. Think about your performance review and list the positive feedback from your colleagues and managers. Also think about how you are contributing to society mentioning activities, volunteering and fundraising activities.
Remember companies are looking for authenticity. Be honest and highlight your best version and your positive results within and outside work.
2. Stand out in the crowd
Your professional brand needs to be unique. Differentiation is key to find your next role and be selected among other candidates.
One of my ex-managers (one of my greatest mentors!) once told me to never lose my Spanish accent and instead embrace it. Since then I left my fears aside and I started to include this in my professional brand. My accent is unique and this helps me to stand out in the crowd, this showcases my unique career pathway and my unique skills.
Take the notepad and write down your specialty, if you don’t have one, learn one, enrol a new class, join an online course or work in a new exciting project within your company or outside work. Volunteer, build a side hustle, help your entrepreneur friend, write a blog or even participate in a hackathon.
Don’t be everyone, be YOU! This will provide extra value to your professional branding.
3.Invest in your LinkedIn profile and use it as a marketing tool
Linkedin is the number 1 professional network in the world and if you are serious about your career you need to be on it and use it to your advantage.
Showcase your unique value proposition in your BIO and keep it up to date. Include your key information, your education, skills, articles, awards, volunteering work and personal projects.
LinkedIn is your public resume and your background check. Spend time selecting your profile picture, showcasing your achievements and selecting your connections. Also use it to learn about the industry, companies where you want to work and to learn about your peers and stakeholders. Follow people in your field, join relevant conversations and add hashtags.
And keep in mind that Linkedin is a free marketing tool!
4.Build your communication skills
As quoted by Warren Buffet “If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark – nothing happens. You can have all the brainpower in the world, but you have to be able to transmit it”.
Whether you’re shy or outgoing, it is important to have strong communication skills. Take public speaking courses, writing courses and take any opportunity to practice your communication skills.
Having a professional pitch is a must, you need to know it by heart. In every new introduction at work and in any networking event you will use your pitch. Practice it regularly and feel confident showing your professional brand in less than 90 seconds.
Communication is key in your career at every stage!
5.Live your values and don’t be afraid to say No
Building a “professional brand” is hard; this is why you need to protect it. You don’t need to accept every job opportunity or LinkedIn invitation that comes to you. You have the freedom to like posts and people that are aligned with your values.
Your work and day-to-day actions will build and support your professional brand. Stand out by doing the right thing and speak up to show your values and inspire people around you!
Surround yourself with positive and inspirational leaders!