Professional Development

How to Develop Your Personal Brand

Building a personal brand

With a bit of preparation, you can tweak your image and build your personal brand online. You may be asking yourself, what is my personal brand? Your brand is how you portray yourself professionally (or otherwise) to members of your in-person network, your online network, and the general public. Ideally, you want people to see the “you” that reflects positively on your talents and expertise and ultimately positions you for upward mobility within your career trajectory.

The key to creating a strong personal brand is to determine what differentiates you from potential competitors. What is your superpower? Ask friends, colleagues and families if you are having trouble identifying this. Next, write it down. This statement is now your personal mission statement for every piece of personal marketing material you create going forward.

Before I get too far into personal branding, though, I’d like to discuss the importance of being aware. Do you know what is out there when you search for yourself online? If not, then you should. Do you have pictures of yourself as a college student hanging out at parties, or worse? If so, then you first have some cleanup work to do. Be sure to remove all compromising and unprofessional pictures from your social media accounts. If friends posted the content, reach out and have them remove it. Untagging yourself alone is not enough. If you can be identified, they may come back to haunt you at a later date, most likely at an inopportune time. It doesn’t matter if they are only visible to those you have friended on the platform, by having this content out there, you open yourself up to possible issues down the road.

Let’s assume you have removed all the old and possibly damaging information from the various social media platforms. What’s next? It’s time to start building your personal brand!

Basic Brand-Building Steps

1. Create a resume that showcases your talents.

This resume needs to reflect your measurable accomplishments. Be sure to include metrics in as many places as you can. Your resume also needs to look professional. This should go without saying, but I’ve seen many resumes that don’t reflect well on the applicant. I recommend seeking out a professional’s help in the creation of your resume. It’s hard, even for writers, to create their own resumes. It’s much easier for a third party to help you identify your accomplishments and help you put them into words in a concise manner.

2. Develop and polish your professional online profiles.

Using your newly created resume, flesh out your professional online profiles, making sure that the positions (including titles, employers and dates) listed on your resume match up to those on any professional online profiles. Be sure to fill in every applicable section.

  • Pay special attention to skills and endorsements sections, including the maximum amount of keywords for the platform. This will seed your profile with these keywords, making it much more likely your profile will show up when recruiters and hiring managers search within the platform.
  • Get recommendations. Recruiters and hiring managers do notice. Seeing a glowing recommendation left by a coworker could be the difference between them reaching out to you first over someone else with no recommendations on their profile.
  • Check on your privacy settings. Be sure your profile is publicly visible. This will ensure it shows up in search results on the first or second page when someone searches your name online.

Ready to take your personal brand to the next level?

  1. Consider writing blog articles to position yourself as an industry influencer.
  2. Consider creating your own website to serve as a hub for all things professional about you.

The views and opinions expressed in this content or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.

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