The “personal” part of personal branding encompasses everything from a professional appearance to how you carry yourself at meetings. You want to make sure that you are always putting yourself in the best possible light, from using a professional voice to making sure that you are dressed impressively. Conventional wisdom saying to dress for the job you want, not the one you have, is sound advice.
And of course, personal branding extends to your online life. Prospective customers, not to mention interviewers or recruiters, will take the extra step of checking you out online, and there are ways to maximize your digital resume to make sure that your online presence shines. Because whether you think you have an online footprint or not, you do, so make sure it showcases your professionalism. This includes taking care of your social media accounts and blog comments. While your privacy settings should be tight, don’t assume that means that you can put anything you want out there. Remember that there are ways that people can find what you post, even if you don’t intend them too.
A better strategy is to create an impressive digital life by making the most of platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to create personal branding that is both professional and compelling. Make sure to use the major search engines frequently to check out what people will find when they search for you. If you are not pleased with the first page of results, which is what most people check, see how you can raise your online profile by becoming active on industry blogs or forums. Make sure that you have a professional photo representing you online as well, especially on a forum like LinkedIn, which is not the place for pet or family pictures, or to share too many personal details of your vacations or hobbies. Many experts recommend using the same photo across sites, so that your personal brand is easily recognizable.
Don’t overlook your email address as an important personal branding tool. If you are a freelancer or a job seeker, it’s smart to try to secure a personal domain name so that people are contacting you @yourname.com versus @aol.com. If you don’t have a domain, consider a Gmail address or another internet service provider that shows you are up on the latest technology. @aol.com doesn’t make you look current.
And, while you’re thinking about email, consider your email signature as well. Make sure it’s professional and short, but allows readers to know how to get in touch with you. Adding your social media accounts can be smart, but beware too many photos, gifs or even quotes. They can take longer to download and can start to look like overkill if it’s someone you email frequently.
In today’s business world, your appearance counts – whether you think it should or not. So whether you are considering personal branding as in person or online, make sure you are putting your best foot forward!
Following are relevant articles on personal branding:
- Personal Branding and Your Resume: The Right Combination for Success
- Personal Branding in Resumes
- The Importance of Personal Branding
- Personal Branding: Touting What You Have Accomplished
- Outstanding Grades VS Outstanding Personality
- How to Build a Personal Brand Inside a Company
- 3 Tips for Building Your Personal Brand
- Personal Brand Management: The Secret to Career Mobility
- Writing a Resume Branding Statement: Define Yourself
- Developing Your Personal Brand
- Step 1 in Building a Personal Brand (Yes You Need One)
- Step 2 in Building a Personal Brand — Tips on How to Message and Market Your Personal Brand