Trying to find a job in a competitive job market can make it seem nearly impossible to get ahead.
When it feels like you’re competing against a lot of other applicants for only a few open positions, sometimes it can help to go the extra mile to get a spot at the interview table, and eventually snag that job!
If you’re struggling to stand out, you can try creating your own personal “brand” for your resume and other materials.
Having your own brand that carries through your resume, cards, social media profiles, and website is something that people in creative fields have been doing for a while, but really, it’s not just for designers anymore.
It could help people looking for a wide variety of jobs, and here’s why.
Look Professional and Prepared
Matching all of your materials is one of the best ways to look put-together, professional, and prepared, even before you ever meet a hiring manager. When you’re trying to get hired, you’re basically marketing yourself to potential employers.
Think of creating your own brand as developing your own marketing campaign, where you’re selling yourself. You need to develop a unique identity and message that sets you apart from others.
In order to create your own brand, you’ll need to determine what you want to convey, what you’re trying to accomplish, and how you want people to see you.
Your brand is going to extend to things like your mission on your resume or color schemes of everything, but it will also carry over into your attire, behavior, and communication.
Create an Online Resume
Start by creating your own professional website that will showcase your education, skills, and experience. Make sure to include things from your personal branding, such as your mission and your colors.
It should essentially function like a resume would, by showing potential employers the same things that they would find on a traditional resume, but a website gives it interactivity and also gives you the ability to include things like pictures.
Especially if you are not in an arts-based career, you are likely to stand out from the crowd as the only candidate with an online resume.
Have a Professional Email, Matching Business Cards
You should also set up an email to use for job hunting that will make you look more professional. Try creating an email that is directly related to your career, or even just your name.
Stay away from using more personal emails, such as YourName1989@hotmail or UnicornsAreReal@gmail, and never use an email from your current job to correspond with potential future employers.
Have some business cards printed that match the website you created. You want your future employers to easily recognize your marketing materials as cohesive and know that they belong to you.
Your cards should, of course, include any important contact information (like that new professional email you just set up), but don’t forget to also include what you do. The worst thing you can do is hand someone a card that doesn’t tell them who you are.
Use Your Branding For Everything a Future Employer Might See
If applicable, continue your branding throughout anything that a hiring manager might see, including your paper resume, cover letter, or a folder.
The point here is for your future employers to easily recognize your marketing materials as cohesive and know that they belong to you. It will help them remember who you are, and it will be unlikely that they will lose your items in the stack.
Hopefully, working towards a personal brand will help you stand out from the rest of the competitive job market, and help you land a spot at the interview table!