To discover your next career move, click here to search the jobs on BoF Careers.
LONDON, United Kingdom — The concept of “personal branding” has become an integral aspect of corporate culture today, referring to an employee’s ability to set themselves apart through verbal, written and behavioural presentation from their competition.
“Your personal brand is about putting your best self out there so that you're differentiated in the market place when people are looking to hire people,” says Musa Tariq, head of marketing at Airbnb and BoF’s Build Your Dream Career course expert. “Thinking about how you appear to the outside world is very important.”
Means and methods through which an individual can differentiate themselves varies from establishing strong professional personality traits, which can be as simple as conducting yourself in a confident manner or demonstrating strong written skills, to the curation of personal social media accounts, with platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram which are often used by recruiters today as primary background resources.
“You need to think about what you are going to say to the world using your resume, using LinkedIn, using Twitter, when you're in an interview. You are now a media owner. You are a publisher. You have platforms that you have to consider when you're putting your voice out there,” says Tariq, who was appointed to the C-Suite at Ford Motor Company as chief brand officer before the age of 35, following senior leadership roles at Burberry, Nike and Apple.
If you can get people to love you just as much as they love a brand, that's a powerful thing.
You can approach the concept of personal branding as a company does its branding, with the most successful businesses retaining consistent core messaging that makes them easily identifiable to audiences. For example, brands’ marketing campaigns that successfully utilise recurring slogans, fonts or tone of voice are analogous to personal branding techniques, such as developing a recognisable email tone or reflecting a creative mindset in a CV.
“Choosing the words and the stories that you tell, the way that you appear, the way that you dress, the way that the words are used to describe yourself and what you want to achieve are really important. If you can get people to love you just as much as they love a brand, that's a powerful thing when it comes to looking for a job and being successful in an interview.”
Indeed, as a job candidate for a new business or within your existing company, the way in which you present yourself can optimise your chances for success — if applied correctly. “The critical thing here is consistency because that then builds into your reputation. [But] you also have to live up to it. The challenge for most people as they continue with their careers is to really think about how you merge what you do and say, and make sure that they're saying the same things.”