Get your dream job in hospitality by creating your personal brand
Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Disney… these company names instantly bring to mind their organization’s logos, services, reputations and values—otherwise known as their brand. But branding isn’t just for companies anymore. From how you dress when interacting with other professionals, to your application materials and social media profiles, you have a brand as well. While it may not be something you’ve thought about until now, a strong personal brand can help you succeed in your chosen career; it can even help you land your hospitality dream job. If you’re ready to target and strengthen it, consider the suggestions below.
Start by determining the characteristics you want people to associate with your name.
These include your areas of expertise (such as building customer relationships, managing teams or improving processes), as well as your favorable personal qualities (such as warmth, generosity, sense of humor, optimism or integrity). Once you’ve determined how you want others to perceive you, you can then begin to consciously cultivate that perception.
This is particularly important if you want to have a successful career in hospitality, an industry that’s all about creating an optimal experience for guests and customers. When your name is associated with elements that also comprise a potential employer’s brand, you become an obvious ‘best fit’ candidate.
Note: Keep in mind it’s important to be authentic to who you are. Personal branding isn’t about selling a phony version of yourself. Your brand should always reflect what you honestly stand for and believe.
Next, take a close look at your online presence.
Much of your personal brand can be found online. What comes up when you Google your name? Are the characteristics you want associated with it clearly illustrated in your social media profiles? If you lack an online presence at all or want to ensure potential employers find you when they search the Internet, you may benefit from setting up a personal website.
It can be simple but should at minimum feature a brand-specific biography and your resume as well as links to your public social media profiles. If your name is common, consider using your middle initial or middle name to differentiate yourself and make it easier for employers to find you.
Remember to always be strategic when sharing information online.
Go through your public social media profiles and remove any content that isn’t consistent with your brand. Add new content by regularly engaging in targeted tweets, status updates and other social media interactions. Visuals are as important as words, so hire a photographer to take a professional headshot for your use online.
You can further enhance your brand by leaving thoughtful, well-reasoned comments on articles and blog posts about the hospitality industry. If you’re a decent writer (or know a good editor who can assist you), consider submitting guest posts to industry blogs. Offering your insight to reports who cover hospitality news is another viable way to get your name out as an expert in the industry. You could even add a blog to your personal website and post regularly about hospitality topics to highlight your unique characteristics and experiences.
Finally, update your resume and other professional materials.
Your cover letter and resume should accurately portray your brand. While it’s important to customize these documents for every employer you submit them to, creating a template can help you ensure you’re communicating your brand message every time. This template should convey your areas of expertise and the personal qualities that form the core of your brand image. Keep these elements in mind when exchanging emails with potential employers as well. Every point of contact is an opportunity to highlight your brand.