Personal Branding 101
Use this free lesson to understand personal branding and what it means to have an online persona, especially with a job search.
Building your brand
As employers start to rely on social media and online resources for screening and recruiting potential candidates, it's especially important for your brand to have a strong online presence. But there's still more to your brand than how you market yourself online. As you work to develop your online brand, you should also be thinking about how you can promote your brand when meeting people directly. Below are some ways to monitor and build your personal brand.
- Google Yourself. Before you start promoting your brand online, you should take some time to learn about your current online reputation. Search for your own name on a search engine like Google and see what kind of information comes up. You might even consider setting up a Google Alert for your name, which will notify you whenever you appear in a new search result on Google. This is an easy way to track the information people can find about you online. To learn more, check out our article on how to Google Yourself!
- Email Address. Make sure that your email address reflects a professional image. Try using a simple version of your name and profession (firstname.lastname@example.org in our example), rather than something too casual. If you've purchased webspace, many DNS providers will give you the option to have a custom email address (email@example.com, for example).
- Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Meetup, Pinterest, and YouTube are a great way to share your brand with as many people as you can. Upload the same profile photo to different social media sites so you'll be easily identifiable across your networks. Check out our page on the Job Hunt with Social Media to learn more.
- LinkedIn. With over 175 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is the largest social media site for professional networking. Customizing your profile picture, headline, and choosing a custom URL can help you be more noticeable on LinkedIn. Visit our lesson on LinkedIn Basics to learn more.
- Elevator Pitch. An elevator pitch is a clear and specific statement that summarizes you and your brand in under thirty seconds. In the example below, Clark introduces himself, his brand, and explains exactly what kind of opportunities he wants to pursue. Check out our lesson on Crafting Your Elevator Pitch to learn more.
- Business Card. Paper business cards are still a great way to share your contact information quickly and easily. Your business card should be simple, with your basic contact information and a concise personal statement, like a shorter version of your elevator pitch (no more than a few sentences).
- Resume. Even if you don't have an opportunity to meet a potential employer directly, your resume is another great place to communicate your brand identity. A strong resume can help you stand out from other candidates. Visit our lesson on Resume Writing if you need help getting started with your resume.