The holiday break usually offers a reprieve, a welcome hush on campus. It gives higher education professionals a chance to catch their breath, to get perspective on what they’ve learned over the past year, and to contemplate their plans and goals for the new year.
Whether you’re an active or a passive job seeker, this reflective time presents an ideal opportunity to refresh your brand. Taking this opportunity to overhaul your materials and unify your social media presence invites you to see yourself from a new perspective. It can give you a renewed sense of focus and purpose, which stands to energize your job search.
The Anatomy of a Personal Brand
We hear a lot about corporate branding, but are you aware of your own personal brand? Are you strategic and purposeful in shaping it? Mark Beal, assistant professor of practice in public relations at Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, defines a well-constructed personal brand as: “The ongoing strategic, creative, and proactive development, positioning and marketing of an individual, their career experience, skills. and thought leadership as well as their personal passions and interests.”
Your brand, then, encompasses more than your cover letter, resume, and Linkedin profile, those materials that directly relate to your job search. It’s the total package of how you represent yourself. Beal elaborates: “While you may not be as high profile as LeBron James, Tom Brady, or Beyonce, you have and own your personal brand just like those celebrities. Your personal brand is comprised of your background, education, career experience, passion projects, community efforts, and family as well as every piece of content that you tweet and post on your owned media channels. Once you recognize the power, reach, and influence of your personal brand, you will understand that everything you do professionally and personally contributes to your brand.”