Take a look inside your pantry. What brands do you recognize? Why did you choose that product over its competitor? If you asked 10 people what brand of cereal they thought of when you said the word “cereal,” your outcome could amount to 10 different answers.

As consumers, we associate certain brands of products with our experiences. When a consumer becomes familiar with a brand, they develop an opinion which will result in either a pass or a purchase. Now think of this in terms of yourself when searching for a job, you are now part of a market and need to start thinking like a product. Your potential employers have become the consumers and they are slammed with thousands of “brands” daily. It is YOUR job to make them take a second look before they pass on purchasing you.

Branding yourself is more important than ever these days. With the job market not being at its strongest and competition that makes employment seem unattainable, you need to do whatever it takes to get recognized. Follow these four Pierce Pointers on branding yourself and you will soon be on the track to branding success!

1. Personality

Mothers have been saying the phrase “Just be yourself,” to their children since their first day of kindergarten; and Mama knows best. This concept is so important when it comes to branding yourself. However, with the competition being as aggressive as it is, “being yourself” needs to go one step further. This is the time to explore your hobbies, interests, and even quirks. Be that person who they will remember. Something as simple as mentioning a monthly fishing trip can spark a common interest with a future employer, which will automatically associate you with something they like as well. You may be known as the “fishing guy” for a little, but just be happy that your “brand” was recognized.

2. Social Media

It is no surprise that social media is becoming one of the main channels of communication. Many people try to avoid getting sucked into this digitalized world we live in, but when it comes to building your brand, social media is one of the most important and convenient ways to display yourself.

Be mindful about what you are posting on your social media outlets. It is imperative that you use your social media channels to help reinforce your brand and identity. That picture of you doing a 30-second keg stand in college has no place on your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. In addition, certain content should be tailored to the social media site you are posting it to. For example, posting a picture of your family on the Fourth of July would be more relevant on Facebook than LinkedIn.

If you started your social media appearance off on the wrong foot, don’t get scared and just delete it. Especially in the IT field, it is important to present yourself as being current. You are in one of the most aggressively changing businesses. Not having any social media footprint at all could give your employers the wrong impression of your skill set and knowledge of the technological field.

3. Networking

What is the whole point of branding yourself if no one knows about you? Get your brand out there. All of the work you have been pouring into your social media, creating an identity, will be for nothing if you do not network! Take any opportunity you can to go out and meet the people who could get you the job of your dreams.

Don’t just hide behind your email and LinkedIn. Face-to-face communication is something that is severely lacking in our society today. Be the face they remember.

4. Consistency

Remaining consistent is just the cherry on top of all of the work you have done in order to make your “brand” the one your potential employers will remember. Following up is a significant component when it comes to branding yourself and can set you apart from your competitors. Making phone calls, sending emails, and HANDWRITING thank you notes are just creating more opportunities for your future employers to recognize your brand and make their purchase!

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