If I were to say, “sports wear”, which brands would you think of?
Nike? Adidas? These brands are instantly recognizable, and they seem to have created for themselves a powerful impact on the consumers through various kinds of media. In advertising, a strong brand image encourages people to buy. In job hunting, the same helps you stand out from the crowd.
Building a professional and impressive employment portfolio is your first step to carve a unique identity. Here are a few tips:
When people get to know you the first time, let them know immediately who you are, what you do, and why they should care. In your job application letter, develop a positive and charming personal branding statement. Throughout your portfolio, provide various kinds of evidence that prove and support what you have said about yourself. Let people understand you, believe you, and trust you!
The No.1 principle of branding is to choose your niche market carefully. Before you build your portfolio, try to analyse the market needs and recognize the relevancy of your qualities and personal characteristics, those that your potential employers are looking for. Explore and learn the real reasons why people get employed. When you build your portfolio, put forward a balanced picture of your skills, experience, and potentials in a confident, sincere and persuasive manner. Sell, don’t settle.
You are brilliant, but you have to let people know about it. Making good use of words and visuals can help you portray a meaningful representation of yourself. Be careful in picking the right words, phrases and structures. Be thoughtful in selecting the right graphics, images, colours, layout and composition. Never be too fancy, and never be boring. This is the art of presentation.
Indeed, nothing creates mystery and distrust more than a portfolio that is just putting together bits and pieces of paper of what you have done so far. If you really care how people perceive you and you manage to use the right strategies and techniques to brand, market and present yourself, your portfolio will certainly produce a more profound response in the eye of the beholder. And with that, you would have made a big step forward in your career development.
Source contributed by Dr Ming Cheung, Assistant Professor, Department of English and Communication, City University of Hong Kong.