Landing a good job involves more than searching for the right opportunity. It requires selling yourself as the ideal candidate to employers.

Creating a professional brand will help others to see you as a viable candidate and expert in your field. Your skills, personality, and values all tie into your personal brand to help employers know what is important to you, what you are good at, and what you bring to their organization. In fact, your career success is highly dependent upon your personal brand which includes your reputation, your network and your value to a company.

Effective job seekers know how to leverage the same strategies that companies use to brand their products and services. You, too, can package and present yourself in a way that grabs an employer’s attention and sell yourself to them. Here are five tips Illinois State’s Career Center provides to help you position yourself well to employers.

1. Discover your brand. Your goal as a job seeker is to obtain employment related to your passion. Figure out what you want to do and why, and then establish goals and a plan to help you get there.

2. Create your brand. Develop a personal “branding tool kit” that consists  of professional looking business cars, a well-crafted resume and cover letter, and quality references who can speak well on your behalf.  All of these should highlight  your academic knowledge, professional experience, and accomplishments. Be sure to customize them to each targeted position based on keywords in a job description, required qualifications, and  lingo used by the industry.

3. Develop a personalized style that stands out from the crowd. Dress to impress. Then check for how you present your self , on paper, such as using your first name and last name as your email address, not a nickname or social reference. COnsider how you present yourself on social media, such as what you post about, photos you share, etc. Whether right or not, people just by first impressions. So try to focus on showing who you are, what you have to offer, and what you want to be known for.

4. Showcase your brand to employers. Social media is the best place to establish a positive online presence and gain greater visibility with potential employers. Consider creating an e-portfolio, a website, a blog, a LinkedIn profile, and a Facebook page that is professional yet, authentic. These tools if used professionally, can help you become more visible, allow you to present your expertise, and showcase your brand. They can also help you connect with other experts whom you can network with, and even help you find job leads.

5. Network , network, network. This is the most effective tools to use to discover job leads and help you  dyour network. Use your academic, extra-curricular, and social contacts to build connections, share insight, and identify potential job leads.

Personal branding is a critical component of your career. Selling yourself using branding includes a combination or technology, tools, and people to help you land your next job. Let the Career Center help you identify your brand and market yourself in a way to succeed. Contact your career advisor today for help!