The concept of branding, once exclusive realm of products and corporations, has now become much more personal, encompassing the way an individual presents himself to society and the professional world. It is this notion that is argued by Bayt.com, a leading job site in the Gulf and Middle East, argues in its latest “Personal Branding in the Middle East and North Africa” report, issued on 29 September.
The survey, which was conducted online between 16 August and 19 September and received 8,154 responses from Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, discussed the importance of managing one’s presence online.
Of those surveyed, 23% believed personal branding helps show one’s specialties in their professional field while 21% said it allows one to connect with others. 15%, around 1,223 people, said it helps distinguish them from others.
Other benefits included the ability to improve expertise in the field, attract clients and opportunities, achieve higher perceived value as a professional and bring awareness to their skills.
The report’s findings also illustrated that 7 out of 10 professionals are familiar with the concept of personal branding and that 8 out of 10 admitted Googling themselves at one point or another. 90% also admitted running online search for people they have met, or were about to meet.
The report also indicated that 92% of the 8,154 respondents – around 7,500 – believed that personal online branding could help them get more interviews and foster growth in their career.
71% of professionals added that a candidate’s social networking activities have made them change their mind about that person. Moreover, around 4,974 respondents, or 61%, said that their companies check the profiles of new recruiters online before hiring them.
Personal branding, however, does not come without concerns. 75% of those who responded to Bayt’s poll stated that sharing their information online poses a threat to their privacy, personal details and contact information.