Building a personal brand in the professional field that correlates to your career path is essential for workplace success. The word “brand” was a term initially coined to describe the way that companies present themselves to the public and their target market. As an individual, you can build a “brand” that showcases your values, strengths, and opinions. Presenting a consistent image can build your credibility in your chosen field. Cultivated well, a personal brand will signal to employers whether or not you will be the right fit for an open role. There are various ways to build a personal brand for yourself. 

Voice and language 

Depending on the message that you are aiming to portray to the public, you will need to use a specific voice and language. Having a cohesive tone of voice in your messages whether on social media, during job interviews, or in your classes and clubs, will benefit you by building brand recognition. It will also help you portray the correct image that you want to be known for. You need to first define your audience to reach your desired goals. Is it other industry thought leaders? An individual at a particular company? Recruiters? The sooner you define the audience, the easier it will be to craft your story, because you’ll better understand the type of story you need to tell (and where you need to tell it). The tone you use goes hand-in-hand with your story and can alter it easily. Your personal brand can be a reflection of who you are today and a roadmap for where you will go.

Loyalty and credibility 

Company brands aim to build their credibility in order to maintain customer loyalty. This can be transferred to your personal brand by having integrity, being loyal and honest in the workplace, and building your credibility. Having trust between you and your network is a key factor for building professional relationships. When there is trust, individuals are more comfortable relying on you for tasks and opportunities. This can help you gain a new position or more responsibilities within your current position. Researching your intended industries or employers can also take part in building your credibility. This will give you guidance on what the environment is like and help you stand out. Individuals with credibility and loyalty tend to be offered more opportunities in the workplace, at school, and even in relationships. 

Network and references 

A network of people and professionals will help contribute to your credibility and loyalty. Providing strong references can be the difference between getting a job or missing the opportunity. Building a large and strong network is a focal point for many occupations. Whether you are a professional marketer, pre-med student, a professor, or any other position involving other people, you will benefit from a strong network. You can build your network by creating personal business cards, creating and being involved with your LinkedIn page, and interacting with other professionals at conferences, meetings, club events, or online. By reaching out to organizations and officials, it shows your eagerness to work and succeed. When you get your name out into your intended industry, employers are more likely to recognize you and be comfortable offering you a position. With word of mouth, your brand recognition can spread to upper management or other desired organizations in the industry. When you take the time to create and nourish relationships, you open up more paths to opportunities.

Measuring professionalism 

Each occupation requires a different level of professionalism. Doctors and lawyers are typically expected to uphold a very professional brand throughout their entire career. However, actors and comedians can be an example of the other end of the spectrum. Identifying the level of professionalism you are expected to uphold will help you align your actions with the morals and values of yourself and your career. Your personal brand is not only your online presence, but the way you carry yourself at home, in the office, and at school. A good way to gain an idea of an occupation’s professionalism is to “follow the professionals.” Research experts in your desired field, find where they contribute their thinking, and examine what they are doing. Once you get these ideas, imitate them, and then do it better. In building a personal brand, your goal is to stand out—but you can’t rise to the top without taking inventory of who’s already there.