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What’s Your Personal Brand?

Personal branding -- the process by which we build an identity, communicate value and market ourselves to others both in-person and online -- helps you identify and communicate your unique strengths to differentiate yourself from your peers and stand out in a competitive job market. Creating and managing your brand ensures you stay focused on your individual goals to become the kind of person you want to be and achieve the specific things you want to achieve. Without this vision for yourself, it’s very easy to take classes and engage in work experiences and other activities that aren’t aligned with your goals. Rather than becoming a well-rounded jack-of-all-trades, success comes from identifying your "X" factor, your unique selling point that makes you indispensable, and continuing to build upon that. If you create a brand now and allow people to see it, it will transform the way people in your network view you.

This process does not have to be overwhelming! Successful branding involves just three steps:

1. Identify your Brand Attributes: 

Identify what makes you different from your peers and competitors. Even if you haven’t chosen a career goal, you can still work on your personal brand. 

Can you answer the following questions:

  • What are your strengths? 
  • What do you value most? 
  • What are you passionate about? 
  • What makes you unique?

Taking a career assessment like Traitify can provide you some insight into your unique strengths. After taking Traitify, view the Trait, and Personality reports to begin answering some of these questions.

2. What's Your Story? Develop and Communicate your Brand:

Now that you have a better sense of your brand attributes, it’s time to communicate them! Creating a personal brand statement is one way to start this process. Your personal brand statement is your compass to keep you on target so you are delivering a consistent message when interacting with every person you meet.

Answer the questions below to begin to create and shape your “story” to highlight your unique skills, achievements, projects, and life experiences, and start to share!

  • What are the strengths that others acknowledge in me?
  • When working on a team, what roles do I seek to fulfill?
  • When faced with an overwhelming obstacle, what are my “go-to” skills to overcome it?
  • What was the most successful project I ever tackled, and what made me successful?
  • What was the most important team role I ever fulfilled and why?

Remember, you can use elements of your personal brand “story” in your 60-second commercial, in interviews, in cover letters, in online platforms, and in networking!

3. Update and Manage your Brand:

As you participate in new experiences, you will learn more about yourself (your strengths, interests, values, etc.) and can refine your brand over time, even years into your career.

Your personal brand is a genuine portrayal of what makes you uniquely you. Developing a powerful and memorable personal brand can truly enhance your career advancement.

  • Double-check your online presence! You will always be Googled by people you connect with, such as recruiters.
  • Make sure you have no embarrassing or unprofessional posts or photos of you online.
  • Privatize your personal social media accounts.
  • Ensure that your information is up-to-date and that there is positive information for people to find.