Building Your Personal Brand

Whether you’re a student, recent graduate, or employed, you can benefit by having a strong personal brand. Creating a vision for yourself can help land your first job (or a better job), inherit better clients or connections, receive industry recognition, or simply put, open up job opportunities. While it may seem tedious and time-consuming to sit down and create a solid brand, it will help better determine goals and how to reach them. Here’s how to start.

What is your personal brand? It’s how you market yourself and your career. Just as a business creates a mission, you must begin by creating a personal mission or mantra. Think about how you see yourself in 10, 20, or 50 years. Also, where you are, who you’re with, and what things you have. This will describe what you do and how you compose yourself.

Next, determine a target audience. If you’re looking for a job, it could be employers. It could be clients. An even broader target audience could include peers or influencers. All of these people could be assets in different ways. Connect with other strong brands, such as joining an alumni group or guest-writing a post for the company blog. Your name being associated with these strong influences will positively affect your personal brand.

Think about your online presence. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Instagram, or LinkedIn, everything you post or say online affects your personal brand. Since employers are more than likely going to Google you before hiring, it’s important your personal brand is clear and follows who you are. Monitor these outlets and analyze how people are responding to it. Forbes recommends securing a personal website to positively rank your name on search engines.

Quicksprout, an online resource to help gain traffic to your website, created a complete guide to building your personal brand. Should it apply to you, they recommend gaining exposure by receiving free press coverage. Online tools are available to create relationships with journalists or bloggers.

Quicksprout also recommends connecting with your mentors for advice. By learning their success stories (or failures) it could inspire as to how you build your own personal brand. They also will be a good connection for the future.

Most importantly: Be yourself. The best fit comes by being honest and true in your personal brand.

Grace Rzodkiewicz || Pittsburgh Office

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