Marketing You: Building Your Personal Brand

personal branding, pr in chicago

personal branding
By: Katie Chrapla

So you scoured your Facebook page to hide all the inappropriate pictures or anything you think could keep you out of a job, which means your personal brand is good to go, right? I’ll let you in on a little secret; potential employers don’t look to your personal brand just to find out what you are doing wrong, they also want to know what you are doing right.

You have probably heard of personal branding, but what does this actually mean? In its most basic form, a personal brand is an image you project. This encompasses everything from your resume to your Twitter page and is increasingly important in a competitive job market. There are a lot of tactics to improve your personal brand, and we have you covered below with some tips on how to improve yours.

This is a significant element when really evaluating your work. Consistency is something employer’s all want to see. Showing you can commit to your work, stick to your deadlines, and manage your time. It all factors down to being someone others can count on. As a professed “avid” blogger, do you consistently post or is it more a once in a blue moon thing? As a social media aficionado, are you actively keeping up on the content you produce and publish? Think about your LinkedIn profile, and whether the information you display is relevant and casting the same light that also can be shown on your resume. No one wants an employee they have to stay on top of to make sure their work is always done. Treat yourself like a business and you are your number one client. If a recruiter is impressed with the way your represent your brand, they may just trust you with representing theirs.

All branding is about projecting an image, which means if you are not putting yourself out there and ending up in front of the right people you are not doing it right. LinkedIn is a great place to start expanding your professional network. You can discover other professionals, see what they’re involved in and connect your way into the social position you want to be in. It’s important to take it a step further and find professional networking events where you can venture out, connect over messages, or set up in-person meetings and ask for feedback on your resume. LinkedIn is a great networking tool but just remember it is just that – one tool in your networking toolbox. That toolbox needs to also consist of utilizing your existing connections such as classmates, alumni, professors, friends and family, in addition to creating new connections.

Be You
What’s a personal brand if not your own? You may be an enthusiastic, fast learner, but so is everyone else. Personal brand is strictly you, your interests and passions. Your brand needs to help you stand out among the throng of countless applicants. Companies spend a lot of time, effort and money on crafting their own brands and chances are the human resources department is looking for people who fit into the company culture. It is important for you to be open and honest when building your own brand, as it will help you find the right fit for you and land you at a company where you will excel.

Always be cognizant that a personal brand is something that continuously needs tweaking and is perpetually evolving. How did your last position change your story? How have you grown and learned from your experience? Your personal brand shouldn’t be something that is stressful to create. It should be a chance for you to put your best foot forward and tell your story.