Establishing your personal brand

In such a competitive industry that continues to grow each and every year, it’s essential that recent graduates find a way to differentiate themselves from the rest of their peers. It’s important for graduates about to join the work force to realize that there are thousands of other recent graduates out there that just graduated with the same major and similar level of experience. That’s why I believe it’s critical that students trying to find their niche within the field of public relations, develop their personal brand.

By personal brand, I mean creating consistency in how you convey yourself to the public through various digital platforms. Your personal brand can also be represented through many other ways such as your resume, business cards and how you carry yourself on a regular basis.  At least that’s how I’ve decided to brand myself. A major part of public relations is brand development and using reputation management to enhance the image of the organization you are serving to the public. So what’s a better way to show you have developed this expertise than perfecting how you brand yourself? By branding yourself, potential employers have a better idea of what they’re going to get out of you and how to effectively position you within the organization.

Social media is a very effective way of branding yourself. It allows you to show what your interests are and show what areas of PR you’re interested in. It also shows that you’re keeping up with industry trends and have done your research. I would suggest creating consistency in the content you post in your various platforms whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. When posting on social media platforms, it’s important that you’re always thinking about 1.) Is this content representing who I am and what I want to be seen as? and 2.) Is this further achieving my purpose and the personal brand I strive for?

Another great way to show off your personal brand is with your professional portfolio or website. It’s a great way to shop off your work, your experience, and just a little bit about yourself. This is a great opportunity to show that you have branded yourself and you are aware of the skills that you possess. It’s also a opportunity to demonstrate your exceptional writing abilities and further prove yourself as a strategic communicator. You can even create a blog section which will really show not only what aspects of public relations you’re interested in but also your cultural interests, hobbies and anything you’re interested in outside of the work place. Your employer wants to know what kind of accounts to put you in charge of? Why not look here….

Last but not least, I think your personal brand has a lot to do in general with how you carry yourself on a regular basis. Perfect your elevator pitch in a way that when someone asks “What do you do?” you know exactly what to say on the spot. This includes your experience, how it’s built you up to where you are now, the skills and expertise you currently possess, and your role within the industry. A way to really improve this is talking in the mirror and speaking with a friend who can give you advice along the way.

In this competitive industry, you have to know what you bring to the table. This will incentivize employers to hire you because they know what they’re going to get out of you and your value to them. You must uphold your brand as well when working with anyone involved in the industry at all times because you never know where your next opportunity lies. Your personal brand is your ideas, your language, as well as your body language.You can have all the digital media in the world, but it’s your personal brand and your first impression that will really portray who you are as a professional in the public relations industry.