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Martha Stewart, Oprah, Donald Trump, and Madonna–all of these people are not only rich and famous, but they have managed to achieve success by creating their own personal brands. Is it possible to think of Stewart without imagining a fresh baked pie or Trump without envisioning bad hair and tall, shiny buildings?
When you're out in search of your dream job, think about what your personal brand entails. Do you want to portray that you're young and hip, tech savvy, or proficient in a certain language or skill? One of the easiest ways to create your own personal brand is by starting your own blog on a site like Blogger, Wordpress, or Typepad. Think of it as your opportunity to adequately fill in the part of the job application marked "other."
Creating a blog is free and most of the hosts have handy tutorials. Even if you don't generate a whole lot of traffic, you can get creative and demonstrate the expertise you have in your field. If you're an aspiring engineer, you post pics of your latest projects. Looking for a job in fashion? Write about your favorite designers. You get the picture.
Just keep in mind that your online persona will reflect directly upon the one you're trying to create in real life. The Boston Herald recently came out with a great article about looking to superheroes as business role models, but the tips apply to job seekers as well:
"Your appearance and presentation should consistently match your personal brand. Batman doesn't show up to the Batcave in a tattered T-shirt and sweatpants." He probably wouldn't post pictures on his Batman blog of he and Robin doing shots in the back of the Batmobile, either! So, remember to keep it professional, folks.
Are you thinking about starting a blog or website to help promote your personal brand?