Building Your Personal Brand
Have you ever wondered what recruiters were talking about when they mentioned building a personal brand? What does that phrase mean for a college student or recent graduate? Let’s hear from our hiring experts about how to put your best foot forward and build your personal brand!

What is a Personal Brand?

Nicole, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, shares, “Everyone has a personal brand, you may just not have thought about it before! Brands are usually developed by personal conception – so what others think and say about you. It is very important to think about your brand because it is going to follow you throughout your life and career. Your brand can be a combination of things, your technical skills, your soft skills, your presentation, and even your personality. The more you understand about your brand, both the positive and negatives - the more you can try and manage it into a positive one!”  More from Nicole

Siobhan, Hiring Expert at Accenture, says, “Your personal brand is how you represent yourself – both in-person and online. Think about the impression you want to give and what you can do to continually support and demonstrate those attributes about yourself that you want others to associate with you. Through social media, blogs, etc. you can establish online profiles where you can showcase your skills, credibility, and successes.”  More from Siobhan

Michael, Hiring Expert at Johnson Controls, Inc., offers, “Think of your ‘personal brand’ as how you want to be known. A superhero may want to be known for feats of strength, superpowers, etc., but in the professional world, you may want to be known for particular skills or behaviors. For instance, I would say that my personal brand is that I want to help people get better - financially, professionally, relationally, etc. To identify what your "brand" is, think about some of these questions:
  • What motivates you?
  • What are you invigorated by?
  • If time, money, and/or education were no obstacle, where would you invest your time and energy?
“Thinking about those kinds of questions can help you work on your personal brand.”  More from Michael

Growing Your Sphere of Influence

Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., says, “It is wise to think about career development from the standpoint of a personal brand.  Everyone who is working or seeking a job has one, good or bad.  Your on-line profile is the first step in establishing and enhancing your brand. Set up a profile on LinkedIn and use it to advertise your experience, education, and character. Once you have become connected with others on LinkedIn, seek out informational interview opportunities with contacts at companies in which you are interested. These will help you to establish an identity with a company beyond your resume in a system. When job opportunities do arise, if you have done this successfully, companies will recognize you as someone who will fit in their culture, setting you apart from other candidates.”  More from Steve

Dustin, Hiring Expert at HP Inc., shares, “Other opportunities beyond LinkedIn for you to build your personal brand could include setting up a personal professional blog. More and more recruiters are now looking for examples of communication skills, critical thinking, and thought leadership; blogging is a great way to display all those potential strengths and standout from the crowd. You may also consider creating an active presence on industry blogs or popular web pages. Comments sections in popular blogs or other sources of information are turning into great spots for recruiters to identify passionate and talented individuals in their respective fields - just keep your comments constructive and positive.”  More from Dustin

Building a personal brand doesn’t have to feel intimidating, you’re already establishing your brand when you network, post on social media, or connect on LinkedIn! Zeroing in on key professional strengths you want potential employers to remember about you will help you direct your efforts. Your personal brand will continue to grow with your career and set you apart in your field for years to come.  
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