6 Ways to Build a Personal Brand and Get Hired for Your Dream Job

Jan 07, 2015 - Joe Matar
Our careers aren’t paths so much as landscapes that are navigated. We’re free agents, entrepreneurs, and intrapraneurs -- each with our own unique brand. -- Keith Ferazzi, Never Eat Alone
Everyone is a brand. And with social media, LinkedIn and online business, standing out above the noise is a key attribute to any potential employee. Whether you’re a college student, entry-level careerist or someone looking for a change, defining your brand is the most important aspect of standing out and getting hired. Understanding that you’re a brand -- and actively building it -- empowers you to stand out and get the job you both love and deserve. Here are six surefire ways to define your brand, stand out and get hired:

1. Think of yourself as a company

This is the overarching theme of standing out and getting hired. In today's working world, it's more common to work for many companies. When you view yourself as a company, you're able to successfully stand out as a professional who sees each employer as a meaningful client rather than an employee hopping from job to job. Conducting yourself as the CEO of “You" forces you to act professionally, build positive relationships and market your skills effectively. How can you best steer your company toward success?

2. Dress for the job you want

Dress to impress. Always. This doesn't mean you have to wear a suit to work, but it means that what you wear reflects who you are. This provides a great opportunity to brand yourself with style, intelligence and flair. What you wear says a lot about the type of person you are. Celebrate this by being unique while still dressing in a manner that shows respect to your coworkers and your career path. How would the CEO of company “You" dress?

3. Build an online persona

In a social media driven society, having an online brand is integral to standing out. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or another medium, your social profiles should reflect how you want to be viewed. Show people that you’re professional and that you have a passion for life and fun; your online persona should balance both sides. Start your own website. Managing a WordPress blog that showcases your interests, thought processes, values and unique flair is mandatory if you want to stand out and get ahead in the 21st century. Any company you apply to will Google you. Even Google.

4. Expand your network

Networking is the single most important activity you can do to stand out and get hired. The majority of young professionals get jobs from their professional network. Open doors for yourself by strengthening your network with powerful connections. Word of mouth travels a long way. A great way to stand out is to be vouched for by an influential connection. As the CEO of company “You,” schedule coffee chats or lunches with people who inspire you. Chances are, your uniqueness and professionalism will inspire them to help you in your career.

5. Love your projects

At the end of the day, your working life is a mosaic of the projects you've worked on. Employers are happy to hire those who have taken on eclectic and challenging projects, and are even happier to pass over those who haven't. Stand out by expanding your skill set and stretching your comfort zone with work or school projects. Employers love dynamic employees with unique experiences. Make sure you take note of the projects you complete so you can showcase examples of your abilities.

6. Be yourself

The bottom line? Be human, and be yourself. Too many young professionals try to conform to the conservative work persona they think employers want. Not true today. Employers are looking for employees who work hard, challenge themselves, take risks and enjoy life. (Click here to tweet this bit of advice.) Cultural fit is the ultimate qualifier for an amazing job. The only way either you or your employer will know if you're a fit is if you be yourself. Laugh a little, crack a joke, tell a meaningful story about your life and talk about your ambitions and past projects. As an employer myself, I know they'll appreciate the humanism. The business landscape has changed over the last decade. We’re in the midst of a business revolution, both culturally and operationally. Conducting yourself as the CEO of “You” and following these steps to stand out will let you maximize your value in this new environment. Don’t fret. By focusing on defining your brand and standing out, you’ll not only get hired, you’ll find a job you love. Evan Tarver is a business development specialist with dynamic experience in the technology industry. Connect with him to read his weekly articles on self improvement through professional excellence and receive your free e-book: 52 Quotes to the Life You Love!