Whether you know it or not, you have a brand.
For better or for worse, how you communicate and engage with others, whether in person, online, or on paper, shape the reputation of who you are and what you bring to the table. It can be as simple as an email you sent to a supervisor, a brief interaction you had with a peer, or a status you posted on your social media page — people will judge:
Do you communicate clearly and concisely? Are you respectful? Do you have a positive attitude? What do you stand for? Would I want to work with you?
Regardless of whether these perceptions ring true, they don’t always represent how you may see yourself or hope to be seen. However, you have the power to change this.
Personal branding is the practice of developing and managing your reputation based on the value you bring to the world. If you take ownership of this process and do it well, it may not only improve your image but also raise your visibility and access to new opportunities.
A good starting point is determining what you want your brand to be, auditing your existing brand, and refining it to better showcase your strengths and personality. A few questions you can ask yourself are:
- Who are you? What’s important to you, and what makes you unique?
- Are these aspects of you accurately reflected in your professional interactions? Social media profile? Resume?
- Do they come across authentically and credibly?
Read additional tips on personal branding on Idealist Careers and/or attend our upcoming workshop on Wednesday, October 16 with Josie Rosario ’19 to learn more about how you can build your brand and enhance your marketability.