Employment Expertise: Job Search Buzzword — ‘Personal Branding’


By West Michigan Works!


This is week two of a five-week series on job search buzzwords.


What is a personal brand?


Dictionary definition: the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization.


Our definition: how you present yourself online and offline to others and, for job seekers, to potential employers.


Companies use brands to help consumers identify their merchandise. For example, we immediately connect the Coca-Cola logo and Nike swoosh to soda and athletic shoes. But it’s much more than a logo. It represents the feelings, expectations and value we associate with a specific company or product.


A brand can also apply to a person. Your personal brand includes your experience, skills, interests, online presence and relationships. Creating a strong personal brand can help you stand out from the crowd.


How do I create a strong personal brand?


Understand yourself.


What value do you offer? What are you passionate about? What are your strengths and weaknesses? When you reveal your authentic self to potential employers it shows them that you are more than your skills and experience. Your unique personality will help recruiters understand how you fit with the company’s culture.


Create an online presence.


Promote your brand online with positive, professional posts. If you don’t already have one, create a LinkedIn profile. You can include personal information such as causes you are passionate about and share posts on topics you are interested in. You’ll be seen as an individual instead of another resume in a large pile.




Last week’s article explained how to network. If you have done the work to understand your true self, networking is a way to share it with the world. Be personable and easy to relate to. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable – people like to connect with other real people. Finally, be consistent.  Stay true to your brand so that people remember who you are, what you stand for and what value you offer.


Employment Expertise is provided by West Michigan Works! Learn more about how they can help: visit westmiworks.org or your local Service Center.