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Personal Branding is Important when Looking for a Job: Myth or Fact?

There’s so much hype in the IT marketplace these days about the competitive talent pool, the need to differentiate yourself, the flood of resumes coming as the economy loosens up and people start to job shop. The reality is; all of this hype is true. How you decide to handle these realities and separate yourself from the rest of the available IT talent pool is up to you.

This is exactly where developing a personal brand comes into play. Is it important to have one? Absolutely. Personal branding is what makes you unique to an organization and gives the prospective employer a better understanding of the value you might bring to their organization. It’s a fact: personal branding will set you apart.

Thompson Technologies offers the following three exercises as a start to developing your personal brand:

  1. We know the number one priority for clients is to hire IT talent with proven skills. So this is the first place to start—clearly identify your skills, demonstrate how you’ve applied them to actual projects and then show the results. Try to focus on high-level examples, demonstrations that might be out-of-the-box and further differentiate you. Leading the creation of your personal brand with quantifiable skills and accomplishments will grab a prospective employer’s attention. Your experience becomes the foundation of your brand.
  1. Next, make sure you have an online presence—but be doubly sure it’s one that positions you well. More and more frequently job hunters are checking out potential candidates by Googling their names to see what comes up. If your Facebook page or LinkedIn profile, or even a Web site that you created pops up and gives any doubt about your skills or personality, you can forget about landing an interview. As “Building Your Online Brand: Five Tools for Job Seekers” points out, these online tools become your “digital assets.” It’s important to make sure that what people see is what you want them to see.
  1. Think about your message. What’s different, relevant and unique about you? Try to come up with a specialized spin about yourself that grabs attention. And once you figure this out, keep it consistent. As an article in CIO Magazine points out, “Personal Branding: 8 Tips That will Help you Stand Out,” when others zig, you should zag. Don’t just go with the norm, think of ideas that are different yet relevant to help you standout.

Once you have your brand development underway, take charge. As you add accomplishments to your bailiwick, make sure you update your brand accordingly. It’s up to you to keep things fresh, alter personal branding strategies according to the marketplace and stay abreast of opportunities to refresh your own personal brand.

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