We’ve touched on the importance of creating a personal brand when it comes to your career, but today we’re digging a little deeper into the how.

When you create a personal brand and present yourself in a way that clearly articulates the value you can provide, you’re far more likely to succeed in getting hired.

Businesses have long understood the importance of good branding, and now in an increasingly competitive environment, it’s become important for individuals to leverage their personal brands to achieve career success as well.

A strong personal brand can play an integral part in helping you stand out in your job search and reach your professional aspirations. Here’s how to go about building one.

  1. Define who you are and what you excel at

The first thing you need to understand is who you are and what you have to offer potential employers. What is your “thing”? Are you an excellent writer? Do you have great experience in managing teams? Perhaps you are a pro at strategy, or can execute like none other.

You have to get a crystal clear understanding of what you should and want to be known for, before you go about attempting to communicate that in job applications and interviews.

  1. Understand how you are perceived

Talk to other people you’ve worked with: a mentor, boss, colleague or even friends and family to get a better picture of how you’re naturally perceived by those around you. You can glean important insights into strengths and weaknesses, and they may help you define and articulate your unique value. They may tell you you’re great at dissolving conflict, or you have a way with words. Maybe you have a way of making people feel special.

You’ll combine this information with your own definition to create the basis of your personal brand.

  1. Harness available tools to communicate your brand

The summary on your resume, a tagline on your online portfolio, blog, website or LinkedIn profile, even your social media accounts and wardrobe can be useful tools in communicating who you are and what you’re all about.

Potential employers or clients will have access to all of this information. Make sure there’s a cohesive thread and a clear representation of how you wish to be perceived across the board. Use these mediums to communicate who you are, what makes you unique and what you have to offer.

You have to take the initiative to create your personal brand and then share it with the world. Instead of leaving others to figure out who you are, what you stand for and what you aspire to, just tell them clearly, concisely and consistently. This will be the factor they remember when sifting through candidates.

  1. Stay current and provide value

As your industry and profession evolve, you’ll want people to know you’re evolving with them. Stay current by using a blog to create content to help inform other professionals in your industry and be seen as an expert in your specialty, or to share helpful information on current trends and events. Use your LinkedIn profile to connect with others and spread helpful information as well.

Maintaining a relevant brand that continuously stays fresh and informed will ensure others see you as an expert. If you can clearly articulate through your brand why you’re a great fit, you’re more likely to stay top of mind throughout the application process.

Building a professional brand is all about understanding what makes you unique, and then continuously communicating that to the world in a strategic and authentic way. Though it can be time consuming, those who take the time to build a strong personal brand can reap enormous benefits. Once you’ve got the branding in place, the applying, interviewing and ongoing maintenance is simple!