What Defines You: Building Your Personal Brand

We live in a competitive world where it takes much more than making a phone call and getting an interview to land a job. Employers care about more than your resume and CV, but your online presence, relationships with past employers, work and personal networks, and your overall cultural fit. They are looking much more holistically. That is where your personal brand comes in.

Technically, everyone has one already, but it is important to optimize your brand to its fullest potential. A personal brand is essentially your reputation – what you are known for, what makes you unique and relevant, your strengths, skills, and values. It is a combination of you, the work you have done, and how you present that to the world.

To start building your brand, think about what makes you unique and what you have to offer. It may also help to ask others to use some words to describe you. This self-awareness will help you see what image you have been projecting and compare it to what you hope to be known for.

Think about what you want your personal brand to say:

  • Are you an expert in a specific field or subject?
  • Are you known for your management, negotiation, writing or speaking skills?
  • How do you work in a team? Are you a great organizer or motivator?

Now tailor it to your audience:

  • What kind of people or company do you work best with?
  • How can you solve a company’s problem?
  • What do you have to add? Why are you valuable to someone else?

Once you have decided what image you wish to show, align your personal brand across all platforms to show a uniform front. Platforms can include your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile and other social media, personal website or blog, employer reviews, and so forth. This will build credibility and a recognizable standard that recruiters can see. It can be strengthened by writing your own publications or case studies, speaking at events, appearing in broadcasted interviews or on other people’s websites.

Your personal brand is you. Make sure it shows your best face.

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