If you look around your campus, you will see so many students who have similar backgrounds and are studying similar courses. In such an environment, every individual student needs a way to differentiate themselves from their mates. They need a distinctive feature that makes them unique. In short, they need a personal brand.
Personal branding is a powerful tool for professional success. If it is critically used, a good personal brand can increase your chances of standing out in the competitive job market after school.
Here are 5 basic steps to create your personal brand;
1. Be Genuine
Building a strong and a high quality brand is a lifetime project and only genuine brands will last. Right from birth, every individual displays certain traits and carries some identity till death. Some people may be seen as team players, others are innovators, peacemakers, problem solvers, etc.
You need to look within yourself and understand who you really are, who people think you are, as well as the kind of brand you want to carry out there. To do this, you can ask your course mates, close friends, and family relations for their honest thoughts about your personality.
Keep in mind that who knows you and what they say about you when you are not around is how people see your personal brand.
2. Create an introduction
Usually, when we meet each other, we simply introduce ourselves by name. Sometimes we add other information like hall of residence or programme of study.
Professionally however, we have to introduce ourselves with a different approach. For instance, if you should ask me to introduce myself at a conference, I will give a desirable answer like;
“I am Kobina Abaka-Kwansa, the founder of Reach Marketing Ghana as well as a graduate of Mfantsipim School. I am a marketing enthusiast who believes in teamwork and learning new things from different people”.
You can see that the above personality introduction covers my identity, i.e. (name), history, interest and belief. This is a professional introduction that can also be used whenever you have to write a brief profile about yourself.
3. Show Self Confidence
Excellent individuals display a certain amount of confidence. Some great people may be shy to speak, but as soon as they start talking, you can feel their confidence. That is a lesson for students who want to create a good personal brand.
In branding your personality, displaying confidence is necessary because it will help you gain the trust of other people. If you are confident and people trust you, it becomes easy for you to create a comfortable atmosphere for people around you.
If you are inexperienced, one way to build confidence is to get more exposure, take part in different programmes, attend events, and take up positions in campus clubs.
4. Be Consistent
We all know the color of Coca-Cola. In all parts of the world, coke is black in colour. Just imagine what will happen if you open a bottle of coke one day and the drink color has changed from black to pink!
Even if you travel to a far way country, you will still recognize a bottle of coke and expect the drink to be the same black color. You will be confused if they explain to you that in China, coke is pink, in the USA, it is green and in Ghana, black.
In that same way, individuals must be consistent in presenting themselves professionally. If you identify the area you want to go into after school, be consistent in presenting yourself. If you do that, your course mates and teachers will know where your interest it. So when they hear of any opportunity in that area, they will inform you.
5. Create an online image.
Apart from Facebook, students need to create a profile on career related social media networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter. On such platforms, you can upload the necessary information about yourself so employers, recruiters and school admissions officers can easily reach you. Information kept on these networks must be very accurate and professional. This will really boost your career chances.
“Success is no secret but just a choice, if you can dream it, you can do it.”
Kobina Abaka-Kwansa is a highly motivated student of Central University College. He believes in challenges without limitations. Kobina is the founder of Reach Marketing Ghana, a company that undertakes Event marketing, Advertising and Branding and bulk SMS.
This is a guest post from a student contributor. If you are currently in a tertiary school and would like to be a part of our student programme, send us an email info [at] newaccra.com
photo credit; peggynoestevens