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How would you describe yourself to an employer in less than 30 seconds? Some may call this an elevator speech but what it is all based upon is your “personal brand,” or how you would brand yourself to others. No, not like Nike or Red Bull but YOUR own personal brand.
According to PR and Social Media Professor Suzanne Mims personal brand can be across many mediums:
Another thing to consider when thinking about your personal brand is the digital shadow you leave behind, or the way other people think about you on social media.
Kevin Loker, George Mason University Alumnus and now program coordinator at the American Press Institute, would describes your online reputation and presence as highly valuable.
“Do you network? Do you keep in touch with people? Are you relevant?” he asks. “This could only be a deal breaker if you stack up less than another candidate for a job.”
“People will be intrigued by the amount of followers you have,” he said.
What if by chance you don’t have an online presence, how could you plan for it? Professor Mims breaks down a very simple process in which you can plan your social branding:
Ann Friedman, a writer for the New Republic, mentions that your personal brand is something that you never stop working on.
“(Personal branding) is something that you actively have to manage online, offline, in your organization, in your industry and on social media,” she said. “Which means there are dozens of opportunities every day to question whether you’re doing it right.”
Throughout this process, don’t lose track of your authenticity in your experiences and attitudes, there is no need to stand for something that you don’t believe in.
“Your authenticity, how you differentiate yourself and how you keep yourself relevant are all things to contribute to personal branding,” Loker said.
Friedman describes the process of selling yourself rather than describing yourself as a paradox.
"I’ve noticed a paradox: The more time I spend defining my personal brand, the more contrived it feels when I talk about myself,” Friedman said.
“I’ve also learned an important lesson: Don’t confuse ‘authentic’ with ‘effortless’,” she continued.
Stay true to yourself and if you do what you love, the money will follow.