Personal branding can go a long way towards setting you apart from many job seekers in our tough economy.

Mzansi has a recorded 27,2% unemployment rate so you need to stand out from the crowd as best you can.

Jennifer Leppington-Clark, managing director of Hill and Knowlton Strategies, told SunEducation: “You have to look more appealing to potential employers than your competitors. This is why you need to create your own brand.”

She said brands are names, designs or symbols that distinguish identities from one another.

“Your personal brand is your calling card – it’s what you are known for. Just look at brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, or Apple – the name triggers a range of associations in the mind of the observer.”

What are the basics of brand building?

Your vision statement

Your vision guides your journey to where you want to be. It’s based on your ideals, goals and purpose.

“Your vision statement lets you break up big achievements into linked smaller, progressive goals that marks your progress whether it’s to land a job, get a promotion or start a business.”

Your core values

They are both your qualities and what’s important to you such as being reliable, honest or efficient.

What’s your purpose?

Knowing a final end goal is critical to your success. You need one goal to reach for.

What is your neon sign?

What is it about you that you want employers to notice first? Your brand is your public image and the publicity it generates.

Can you control your image? Does it represent your inner self or is it altered to please others?

Your social media shadow

Social media offers opportunities to grow your brand but it is also full of danger.

“Everything you post online is out there forever so think before you share or post something on social media.”