Do you view yourself as a brand? Martha Stewart, Oprah, and Lebron James sure do, and so should you. Personal branding is the process in which people and/or their careers are marketed as a physical brand. Your brand says a lot about you as a person and a professional. As a college student, it’s important to begin building a personal brand early in your career.
An important first step is to determine what you want your personal brand to say about you. Your brand should be unique to you, but you should also keep it professional to help you promote yourself as you embark on your career.
Rasmussen College HR Generalist and Corporate Recruiter, Allison Maybury, explains exactly why you should take your personal brand seriously.
“As a Recruiter, it is important to hire individuals who not only possess the skill sets for an opportunity, but also one who will fit culturally within the organization. The development of a personal brand can help the company make that assessment. Therefore, it is not only important to build and protect your personal brand, but continue to develop it and learn how to project your brand in the interview process.”
A recent Microsoft reputation study found that 70% of human resource professionals have rejected job candidates based on information they found online. That statistic alone should tell you that developing and monitoring your personal brand profile is extremely important, especially as you begin your professional career.
Your personal branding should develop and be expanded throughout your time in college. As you enter the workforce, it’s important to begin promoting and protecting it. Use the following personal brand development guidelines to help you build, protect, and use your brand to your advantage as you start your new career:
As you start to discover and create your brand, it is important to present and maintain it online and offline. On your social media profiles, like Facebook and LinkedIn, you should delete anything that could negatively impact how people view your brand while inputting information that will help you build it. You can also adjust your privacy settings on any social profile to limit who can see your profile.
Also consider buying your brand name as a website. Taking ownership of www.insert-your-name.com (if it’s available) is a great way to protect and build your brand name online. Use tools like Google Alerts to easily monitor your brand name on the Internet.