By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
You may be thinking, “I’m not in marketing. What does branding have to do with me?” If you are eager to move ahead in any career, you need to know all about career branding—what it is, why it matters, and how to create and manage your own personal career brand.
WHAT IS CAREER BRANDING?
Career branding is all about creating a reputation—aka, a brand—that describes and portrays your career and professional persona. It’s about who you are, what you do, how you work, and where you want to go. Like a consumer brand, a career brand not only tells your story, it sets the stage for an illuminated future career path. A career brand goes beyond the basic resume to deliver a more complete picture of who you are professionally.
HOW DO I BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND?
Begin by researching yourself. Telling your own story is hard, so look at your experience objectively. List everything you normally would in a resume (education, experience, milestones), then go a step further and do a comprehensive online search on your own name. What does your presence look like on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, open forums, etc? If it helps, have a friend do the search with you and see what they think. Does your online presence (or lack thereof) portray you as a savvy professional, a nobody, or a mess?
CLEAN UP YOUR ONLINE IMAGE
A solid personal brand has the full package of a great resume, interpersonal skills, and online presence. If you have zero online presence, it’s time to start that blog or Twitter account and build some search results for your name. If you have online accounts but have let them lapse, spruce up your SEO with updates about what you’ve been doing to stay sharp or thoughts on the latest industry news. If your online profiles are downright embarrassing, do whatever you can to tidy up by removing and untagging photos, deleting updates that don’t show your best, and improving or deleting anything you are able to edit. (Sometimes it’s easier to delete an entire profile and start from scratch.)
CONSIDER BUILDING A PERSONAL WEBSITE
Creating your own website is a snap, and it can be a great way to not only boost your search engine results but also showcase much more than a resume can. A website give you total control over content, so you can post a resume as well as additional pages to outline your career mission statement, awards, samples of your work, links to social media accounts, and even a blog.
Building a personal career brand may sound big, but it isn’t impossible. Anyone can build a better brand with time and effort, and being able to project a strong work ethic and talent base can help you no matter what field you’re in.