As an advertising student, self-branding is a term that is constantly talked about. While it is a commonly used word, there are often times a negative connotation associated with the word. To some people, self-branding means using social media and other platforms to increase relativity. However, to professionals within the advertising industry, it means advertising your values and interests in a way that helps companies to gain insights on your personality.
With a move towards digital, there are now less in-person interactions. Self-branding is crucial for recent college graduates as well as professionals in general in finding relative jobs and attracting employers whose values resonate well with ours. For the first time, the share of internet users with college educations using LinkedIn reached 50%. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn allows professionals to build an identity and is a way to reach out to employers as well as have employers find qualified candidates.
In an article written by The Fast Company, self-branding is imperative to career success and allows individuals to establish careers and goals that they are passionate about. Because advertising is a relatively competitive industry, simply obtaining just a degree is inadequate in allowing professionals to stand out. Instead, one’s distinct personality and professional history allows them to stand out and enhance a company’s culture. The Fast Company also believes that a strong personal brand directly translates to establishing one’s self as a natural leader, which in turn boosts image and aspirational career direction that creates unique opportunities that would otherwise remain unknown.
In another article written in the Forbes magazine, self-branding is essential for development in leadership qualities. Self-branding forces professionals to define what their intentions and objectives are with the use of social accounts. Managing a personal account requires you to be a great role model, mentor and a voice that others can depend on. When creating content, you are responsible for delivering a standard of expectation that you have set forth for yourself, those whom you serve and your community of readers. By utilizing the perspective that you are trying to define and aim to live, you as a professional start to live through the “lens of a brand” and act in way that represents the way you portray yourself. This allows professionals to act as leaders in the sense that they are mindful of what others are experiencing about them.
According to LinkedIn, self-branding is also important because to put it simply, “people buy from people, not companies.” Employers find potential candidates much like consumers find products. As consumers, we do not search for products blindly. Instead, we resort to recommendations and popular items. We then ultimately choose a product or brand based off of qualities that resonate well with ourselves. The same process can be applied to how employers hire employees amongst thousands of qualified candidates. Employers receive recommendations or find prospects from self-branding efforts (social media profiles, LinkedIn pages, etc.) and use this as a way to search for people. They then choose to hire someone based off of personality traits, goals and objectives that resonate well with them.
Self-branding is an essential step in finding jobs. However, we must be mindful about how we go about branding ourselves. As the film Generation Like Discussion discusses, “we are all our own media companies” and get to choose what content we generate about ourselves. Self-branding is a powerful tool, but we must utilize it to empower ourselves and communicate our goals, objectives and qualifications when finding jobs.
Coles, L. (2015). Why Developing Your Personal Brand Is Important. LinkedIn. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-developing-your-personal-brand-important-linda-coles
Duggan, M. (2015). Social Media Update 2014. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/
Llopis, G. (2013). Personal Branding Is A Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2013/04/08/personal-branding-is-a-leadership-requirement-not-a-self-promotion-campaign/#75f6cbb615c0
Saltzman, B. (2015). Why Personal Branding Is Essential To Career Success. Fast Company. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/3048401/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/why-personal-branding-is-essential-to-career-success