Personal Branding tips for Young Adults

Image Credit - Meera Sapra

Image Credit – Meera Sapra

It’s official – the paper resume and cold call have gone the way of the dinosaur.  Linkedin, which once seemed cutting edge, now represents the basic standard of professional networking.  Marketing yourself in the job market has become much easier with the rise simple content creation tools and Web 2.0. The tricky part is standing out in the endless barrage of content.  How do you standout in a ocean containing 40% of the globes population?

The answer is that you no longer just have to sell yourself to a particular job but instead selling yourself to the entire online world.  This is often called personal branding. Wikipedia defines personal branding as “the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brand” but could also be defined as shameless self promotion. Personal branding is more than having your work turn up when your name is searched, it is also making sure that your name pops up when the area of your expertise is searched. Personal branding can expand beyond the internet with social media gurus recommending dressing in a trademark manner at professional events. Think Steve Jobs distinctive black turtleneck.

It might appear at first glance that personal branding is nothing more than a passing fad that only applies to those interested in marketing. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the marketing industry was among the first to embrace personal branding, it applies to anyone hoping to define themselves in a field.

Students and young professionals struggle with personal branding for two reasons. The first is their extended trail on social media. This trail isn’t necessarily a bad thing however, it waters down your personal brand. If your blog shares a name with your Instagram account and they aren’t connected by content, the message the users wanted to find is more difficult to find and perhaps lost.

hellomynameisAnother issue young  people have with personal branding is finding their niche. It’s all well and fine for an established professional to brand themselves as a Health Guru or a  Circus Photographer yet a undergrad student may have not yet declared a major.  How can young people define their personal brand while still figuring out their course of study? We at Digital Tattoo have put together three quick tips on how to build a flexible personal brand.

One –  Create something positive. Whether it’s a blog of poems or a flickr account without selfies, positive online content is a great way to show off what you can create.

Two –  Join a online community. This is a great way to flaunt your tech skills and ability to work within a group. It could be as simple as an online book club or as complex as driving into coding puzzles at GitHub, the important key is it shows off your ability to contribute and collaborate.

Three-  Start something. Either virtually or in the real world, creating a movement shows that you are willing to take risks and go above and beyond in your creative vision.  Think- What are your passions? What do you wish existed in your school or hometown?

Following these three steps will build up your personal brand, then you can figure our your snazzy title.

What are you doing to craft your personal brand?

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