Here are a few simple and practical tips to help you build and maintain your personal brand.

Congratulations — you just graduated from college and you’re ready to conquer the working world. But before you can begin your conquest, you’ll need more than just a resume and cover letter to showcase yourself and demonstrate your competence to potential employers. You need to develop a personal brand.

What does that mean, you ask?

According to a Forbes article: “Your personal brand should represent the value you are able to consistently deliver to those whom you are serving. This doesn’t mean self-promotion — that you should be creating awareness for your brand by showcasing your achievements and success stories. Managing your personal brand requires you to be a great role model, mentor, and/or a voice that others can depend upon.”

Why should that matter to you?

According to CareerBuilder’s 2015 social media recruitment study, the number of employers taking to the web to research applicants has steadily risen over the past few years — from 39 percent of employers in 2013 to 43 percent last year to 52 percent in 2015. That means potential employers already have access to information about you at their fingertips. It’s up to you to ensure you’re making a strong first impression when they look you up.

That’s why you need these simple and practical tips to help you build and maintain your personal brand.

1. Identify and define your brand. You may think you have to start creating your personal brand from the ground up, but the truth is you already have one that’s floating out there in cyberspace. Do a Google search or set up Google alerts for your name and see what turns up — there may be posts, pictures and more that you may not have realized were public. While you may not have total control over what’s out there, you can adjust your privacy settings and take charge of what you voluntarily put out there for the world — and employers — to see.

complete article