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Job Seekers: You Need a Personal Branding Strategy

Start Thinking of Yourself as a Brand

A personal brand strategy is a fancy way to talk about your “reputation”.  Whether you realize it or not, your reputation proceeds you. It’s not how you see yourself; rather, it’s how others in your world see you. Building a personal brand is an ongoing and proactive process, and it evolves as your career progresses. Be authentic, showcase your uniqueness, and demonstrate how you can bring value to potential employers.

Creating a Personal Brand

the same woman with different outfits on white background

Your personal brand is a combination of your style, your appearance, your vocal tone, the words you choose, and your values such as how you spend your time and organize your personal space. In addition, your personal brand is the culmination of your skills, past experiences, and strengths. Consider all these dynamics that are unique to you and make sure your best attributes are consistent across all communication channels, from your social media profiles to the interview and follow-up thank you note.

Take a proactive approach to building your brand strategy:

  1. Define Your Brand Identity:
    • Identify your strengths, skills, values, and passions.
    • Determine what sets you apart from others in your field.
  2. Craft a Compelling Personal Brand Statement:
    • Develop a concise and memorable personal brand statement that highlights your unique qualities and what you bring to the table.
  3. Optimize Your Resume and Cover Letter:
    • Tailor your resume and cover letter to reflect your personal brand.
    • Use language that aligns with your brand identity and emphasizes your key attributes.
  4. Online Presence:
    • Ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete and aligns with your personal brand.
    • Share content related to your industry or expertise to demonstrate your knowledge.
    • Consider creating a personal website to showcase your portfolio, achievements, and professional journey.
  5. Networking:
    • Attend industry events, conferences, and networking sessions to connect with professionals in your field.
    • Engage with others on social media platforms, contributing to discussions and building your online presence.
  6. Professional Appearance:
    • Dress in a way that reflects your personal brand during interviews and professional events.
    • Ensure your physical appearance and demeanor align with the image you want to portray.
  7. Showcase Your Achievements:
    • Use specific examples of your accomplishments to demonstrate how you’ve added value in your previous roles.
    • Quantify your achievements when possible to provide concrete evidence of your impact.
  8. Consistency is Key:
    • Ensure consistency in your messaging across all platforms, including your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn, and personal website.
    • Consistent branding helps create a strong and memorable impression.
  9. Ask for Recommendations:
    • Request recommendations on LinkedIn from colleagues, supervisors, or clients who can speak to your strengths and contributions.
  10. Stay Updated:
    • Keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date to remain competitive in your field.
    • Share updates about your professional development and accomplishments on your platforms.

Your brand strategy: Set the tone of your job application!

Every piece makes a difference. According to the JFCS Pittsburgh facilitator of the “Career Branding; Your Resume” workshop, “Writing a resume without a strong personal brand profile at the top is like having a car without a driver.”

Most importantly, a well-written statement sets you apart from the competition. Assuming all job candidates have the minimum stated requirements, what is it that makes you better – that makes you unique? Your authentic story that only you can tell is your strongest asset. Paired with your personal brand, your story creates a bond between you and your audience. Let us help you communicate your uniqueness and your true goals.

As job seekers work to make an impact, get noticed by the right people, and keep pace with employment trends, JFCS Pittsburgh strongly recommends reaching out to a Career Counselor to help shape your personal brand and identify the path to the best-fit job or career.

Additional reading:

Personality Assessments: Choosing a Career Starts with Self-Discovery

About JFCS Career Services

JFCS Career Services supports job seekers and employers to create a diverse regional workforce. Have Questions? We’re Here to Help. Contact JFCS Career Services at (412) 422-5627 or visit careerservices@jfcspgh.org.