How to Build Your Professional Brand

How to Build Your Professional Brand

Have you thought about your professional brand, about how you get labeled in a few words?  Businesses shape their brands.  So should you.

Think first about career related things you are good at, that you are passionate about, that come naturally to you.  Then, ask a friend what they see as your distinguishing characteristics.   Consolidate their and your answers into a short-list.  Now, use this consolidated list to create a brief yet powerful description: great negotiator, strong leader, determined problem-solver, etc.  Overlay these behavioral elements with specific skills, knowledge and experience descriptors like: efficient python coder, strong sales skills, knows so much about __.  These are the seeds of your brand.  Next, grow them and show them – for example, in your resume or during an interview.

Do things outside of your studies to reinforce this image, both its substance and perception, for example: serving in leadership positions in clubs/societies, publishing or blogging, giving presentations, engaging in volunteer work, focusing your posts on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter, etc.  These individual things come together to build a mosaic that is your professional brand.  Recruiters see this mosaic, and know when it’s missing.  Help them see it better by using recognizable keywords and concrete outcomes matching your brand on your LinkedIn page or in an interview.

Odds are, you’re getting labeled. Why not make sure you’re the one who’s shaping it?

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