By Kenya Pettis

Every day we hear about companies creating their brand to market to consumers, but how often do you take the time to contemplate your own personal brand? Thinking about this strategically could help you to boost your potential at work, and better understand what it is that you want out of a career.

Today’s workforce is filled with many qualified professionals pursuing their ideal career paths.  Differentiating yourself from others within the same industry can be tough. This very fact is why it’s important for a person to understand that someone’s personal brand has as much of an impact on their career advancement as their technical skill-sets.

Everyone has a personal brand, whether they realize it or not.  Your brand is how you present yourself to others.  It’s how people perceive you based on their interactions with you.  Some would even say it’s your legacy. The following offers some pointers on identifying and defining your own brand.

Be Intentional

More often than not, a person’s personal brand is created by chance instead of on purpose.  It encompasses your passions, work ethic, values, strengths and purpose, which influences your personality, relationships, and reputation.  Be intentional about how you communicate who you are and recognize what makes you different from others. Market your unique values and how they contribute to the success of your goals and the goals of your employer. By intentionally creating your personal brand, you are taking ownership of how people perceive you.

Have a Sense of Purpose

Employers tend to assess your professional values, integrity, and ethics.  Your personal brand can act as a “promise” of how you will conduct business and reflect the mission and core values of a company. Have a sense of purpose. Know what qualities you bring to the table, and be sure you know exactly how to articulate these characteristics in a clear and concise manner.

Stand Out

Creating the right brand for you will allow you to stand out from your coworkers.  Use it to tell your story. Allow it to create and portray meaning to your intended audience.  However, make sure you are being authentic and consistent. Play to your strengths—what unique abilities or experiences do you bring to the table? Recognize what your “best self” looks like and speak to your most significant traits you want people to remember.

Cultivate Your Brand

Keep in mind that as you continue to develop as a professional, so will your brand.  It will always evolve and need nurturing, so be open to giving it a fresh “face lift” every now and then.  Occasionally, do self-assessments and even solicit feedback from trusted colleagues and friends to gauge how you should improve your brand.

Tom Peters’ article, “The Brand Called You” has a catchy way of phrasing the importance of personal branding, “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer of a brand called You.” Your brand is an asset that allows you to express who you are and how you add value on a personal and professional basis.  Make sure your brand is creating lasting, positive impressions by being purposeful, genuine, exceptional and unforgettable.

About the Author

Kenya Pettis is a Senior Recruiter at MIL and has been a part of our team for 11 years now. Kenya believes that recruiting is much more than just placing bodies in chairs. She carries out her job knowing that the recruiting process should encompass assessing a candidate’s technical, communication and interpersonal skills while identifying if there is a mesh between the open position, the company’s vision, and the candidate’s experience, abilities and professional aspirations.

Interested in working for MIL? Connect with Kenya on MIL’s LinkedIn Ask the Recruiter page.