Graduate Assistant, Florida State University
Pick three words to describe yourself. Did you get stuck choosing words, or did you identify these words before you finished reading the sentence? As professionals, personal branding is an important concept to utilize to help you connect and network with employers and other professionals in the field. Personal branding is your trademark, your values and your story all wrapped into one term. In other words, what can people expect from you in both personal and professional interactions? When you can articulate your personal brand and and how to convey your values to others, you increase your chances of landing the position, supervisor and company culture that will help you thrive professionally and personally.
You may ask, how do I create a personal brand? Think about your own personal story, because we all have one! Are you still on the same path you started? Did you take any detours? Where do you want your journey to ultimately take you? Start by answering these questions, and if you’re having a hard time answering them yourself, ask a trusted mentor or colleague for insight.
Thinking of strong brands in our culture can also assist you in answering these questions. When you think of companies that have strong brands, which companies come to mind? A good example would be the store Target. Target’s slogan is “Expect more. Pay less” and prides itself on customer service, affordable prices and quality goods for sale. Target’s brand demonstrates consistency and congruence between the values of the organization and the experiences of customers in the store.
As a professional, you can do this exact same thing. When employers interact and communicate with you what kind of experience are you giving them? Is it a high quality experience that reflects your values as a professional and person, or does it leave the client confused and asking what your brand truly represents? Answers to these questions can serve as the foundation for your personal branding philosophy, which can help you at any point in your journey.