When it comes to getting the most out of our careers, we can all learn from the Kardashian family. That doesn’t mean you should hand in your notice and start pitching your own reality TV show, but, like them, you should take your personal brand seriously.
How you build your brand may be different, it’ll probably feature less scantily-clad selfies (when we say less we mean none), but the time they put into developing their brand and their consistent tone of voice are things everyone can emulate.
Where to start building your brand
First of all, you need to work out exactly what you bring to the table. Ask yourself: “What can I offer an employer?” and if you can’t answer concisely within 30 seconds, you need to work out how to.
Start by assessing your strengths and weaknesses and what you are aiming to achieve. It’s often hard to judge objectively what you are good at and what needs improvement, so ask for feedback from your network of colleagues and friends. Make sure they know you want them to be as honest as they can be, even if that means they’re critical. This kind of conversation isn’t always easy, but feedback is important for building your brand.
Consider undertaking a test online, or completing a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. These will help you work out your career goals, what you enjoy most and what you tend to avoid. However you identify them stay focussed on your key strengths and weaknesses, rather than straying too broadly.
your personal brand should be a part of your elevator pitch
Once you have a good idea what you offer, work out your elevator pitch. Practice answering questions such as: Tell me about yourself? What do you do? Do you enjoy your job? Keep practicing until you can answer engagingly in 30 seconds. Remember you’re not just preparing for an interview, you’re preparing for all the formal and informal networking you’ll be doing. If your role is highly technical or a little obscure, think about how to reflect this in your answers too.
Update, manage and maintain your profile
Managing your brand can be time consuming, just ask Kim and Kourtney, so it’s better to do it on an ongoing basis rather than starting from scratch when it’s time to search for a new job.
Take a look at your resume. Make sure it highlights the strengths you have identified and come up with a ‘career moment’ that demonstrates each strength, showing a time when you used it to your advantage.
You also need to make sure your online brand is consistent and complements your resume. Good recruiters will check you out on the internet before deciding whether to interview you. If your resume looks great but there’s something damning about you online, it’s likely to end up in the bin.
The information that people can find about you online should entice them to want to know more. So take control of it. Start by Googling yourself. What comes up first? If it’s a picture of you downing Sambuca dressed in nothing but a mankini, or anything else that might be held against you, work out how to remove or hide it.
Then tighten the privacy controls on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts so that potential recruiters can’t see them. Or remove posts that could damage your reputation no matter how old they are.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, get on LinkedIn. It’s the most valuable online networking tool, great for connecting with people and job searching. So if you haven’t got a profile, create one. If you have, make sure it’s up to date and includes a corporate headshot – LinkedIn studies show that profiles with a photo get 30% more clicks in search results.
Once your profile is sorted, engage
There’s no point having a great profile if the right people don’t see it. Spend five to ten minutes everyday building your personal brand. Interact with like-minded professionals and companies, contribute to relevant groups and publish or share content.
Because keeping up with the Kardashians’ personal branding skills, really will help keep your career on the up.
Written by Career Coach Nadine O’Regan.
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