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

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There are several factors you will need to consider as you begin developing your own personal brand. Rather than inventing a false persona, your brand should be an authentic expression of who you are, what you value, and what you want to accomplish.

Taking the time to determine your values, passions, and skills will help you create a personal brand that is both memorable and genuine. You might consider visiting our module on Assessing Yourself if you need additional help determining your skills and values.

Instead of starting from scratch, your brand should be informed by your existing reputation. Think about how your current friends and colleagues would describe you and your personality. You can strengthen and emphasize these qualities as you develop your personal brand.

Your brand will also be determined by the audience you are attempting to reach and influence. Different fields will value certain skills above others. For example, an elementary school teacher might create a very different personal brand than someone working as a sales manager or an engineer. It's all about discovering how best to connect with the people who matter to you and your brand.

Take some time to consider the following questions as you begin thinking about your brand:

  • What am I passionate about? What are my values? What are my unique skills?
  • What is my current reputation? How can I build on it? How do I want to be perceived by others?
  • Who do I want to reach? Who is the audience for my brand?