What is Your Personal Brand?
Do you ever think about how you are perceived by others? There are many ways this occurs both in person and online. This can affect you in the workplace. Perceptions become reality so it is worth the time to review how we present ourselves which becomes our personal brand.
Your brand is often first noticed by colleagues and employers online. This is through:
- Email: This should be one that is appropriate and that you will check regularly.
- Facebook: Employers receive resumes and then cross reference on Facebook. Your profile should be "cleaned up." There should be no questionable photos or information. Facebook does have the advantage of being a great networking tool. Use it wisely!
- LinkedIn: This is a fantastic, easy way to network! Begin by creating a profile and then joining some groups of importance. Groups can include your employer, your alma mater or special interest groups in your professional field. There are also jobs posted on LinkedIn. Spend the time to create a great profile of yourself with photo and professional information about you.
- Twitter: Again, this is another social networking instrument that is valuable. From a personal branding perspective, you should be sure that you are tweeting appropriate information and that you are following appropriate groups. Also, Twitter can be used as a job search tool. "Follow" companies of interest or search for "Washington DC jobs" as an example. There are many sites that are in the business of tweeting jobs.
Your first impression is part of your brand too. First impressions are made within seconds of an introduction. So remember the firm handshake and the good eye contact. Dress is also an important consideration. On an interview, men should have a conservative suit and women should have a business suit with pants or a skirt. In the work world, you want to dress the part.
Professionalism matters inside and outside the workplace. This involves many components which also includes personal responsibility. You are responsible for the choices you make and your own best cheerleader! We all need to take care to handle our own stress and time management and confronting our own feelings of burnout and prevention.
Professionalism also reminds us to respect others by listening and be considerate. This means no teasing or gossip. And it means reviewing your social media presence and evaluating your personal brand to be the best you can be!
Director, Career Center
Mount St. Mary's University (Maryland)