Whether you’re trying to snag that big promotion, looking for a new job, or just aspiring to better yourself in your current position, it’s important to define your personal brand.
Upgrading your personal brand helps you determine your role in the workplace and specify how you’d like others to perceive you.
Regardless if you’re looking to develop your career right now or preparing for the future, it’s essential to use your personal brand to market yourself in your current career and in the workforce outside of your given job title and role. By upgrading your personal image on paper, social media and (of course) in real life, you will demonstrate who you want to be as an employee and a person. When you know where you shine, you will become more confident and your co-workers will begin to perceive you as a leader and someone to look up to.
If you’re unsure on the next steps to take to develop your personal brand and skyrocket yourself into the next stage of your career and life, follow these few quick tips:
Update your resume
This may seem obvious, and although your coworkers likely won’t be peeking at your resume, updating your resume helps you become very clear on what your roles actually are in your job. Writing down what you do in your position on a daily basis and how you execute those tasks to meet goals can help you come to a self-realization about your achievements and build the confidence to propel your career forward. Similar to an accomplishments list, but focusing broadly on your career as a whole, being aware of your strengths and weaknesses helps you be the best you that you can be.
Picture this: you love your job and have been crushing it for a couple of years. You have no intention of leaving the company soon and your superiors have been giving you more responsibilities. But, because of this, when is the last time your resume was updated? What’s your job title and duties versus what you are really doing?
Maybe you’re now doing a lot more than what is expected of someone in your job title. Updating your resume to spotlight those added responsibilities, even if you have no desire to leave your job, can help you gain leverage and confidence to ask for a promotion or a raise.
So although you may not be in the job market, keeping your resume up to date helps you upgrade your personal brand. Updating your resume reminds you of what you’re doing great with at work and can even help you notice the areas you need to improve in!
Define your look
“Dressing for success” isn’t just a cliche term; many studies show that the clothes you wear to work can affect your performance.
As they say, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” This goes beyond just the outfits you show up to work in; looking polished and clean will help you gain respect from those around you. Humans are visual creatures. We all make judgments about people based on their appearance, so no matter how amazing your work is, your appearance will affect how seriously other people take you.
Regardless of your job’s dress code, you can still upgrade your personal brand by dressing appropriately and looking neat everyday. Keep in mind your company’s culture. If you meet with customers, clients, or CEO’s on a regular basis, dressing formally may be necessary. However, if you are at your desk all day doing creative work, it’s more important that you are comfortable.
There a few simple ways to look and feel your best on the job.
- Be modest – It doesn’t matter how formal or informal your dress code is, being modest will help you gain respect of those around you. Make sure your shirts are buttoned up and that your clothes fit comfortably, not too tight or too loose. Think about people who you admire at work, and take cues from their dress for choosing your own outfits.
- Shower and shave – It’s not a good look to show up at work greasy or scruffy. Showering, washing your hair, and ensuring you smell great help show a professional and neat look regardless of dress code. If you have facial hair, keep it polished and intentional by shaving with the proper tools to achieve either a clean shave or straight lines.
- Be comfortable – If you’re uncomfortable in pants that are too tight or shoes that are killing your feet, you will not perform your best. You still want to dress for success, so don’t show up in the comfort of sweatpants, but choose clothes that make you feel your comfortable and confident.
In a 2010 national study conducted by the Center for Professional Excellence at York College of Pennsylvania, appearance ranked second when respondents named qualities most often associated with professionalism. This alone is proof that how you dress at work is a reinforcement of your personal brand on the job.
Update your social media accounts
Your social media is a true reflection of your personal brand, and this isn’t only true for social media influencers. Before you even meet someone, it’s likely that they have checked out your accounts, so keeping them up to date and properly reflective of your best traits is important especially when you’re in the job market. Plus, it’s easier than ever to find a job utilizing social media to your advantage, so it is worth the investment.
If you are looking for a job, clean up your social accounts before putting any resumes out into the world. Make your settings as private as possible and have a high-quality, appropriate photo of yourself for a profile picture. Delete all of those photos from your college partying days or the recent bachelor party you attended. Take it a step further by heading to your Twitter and Facebook accounts and removing any status updates that show a negative side of you, specifically if you’ve bashed a past job.
An awesome thing to do on your social media accounts to express your personal passion. If you are in a creative career (or would like to be!) frequently post updates of your most recent musical or design venture. Sharing a hobby or job that you love on social media is great for your brand because it shows a balance of work and play, and gives a glimpse into your personal life.
You can even use social media to find and snag a job. Social media allows you to expand your professional network of people from the comfort of your own home. Networking is a huge part of finding a job, and connecting online with people from companies you want to work at is a great way to make meaningful progress on your job search.
Social media is great for your personal brand because you have the freedom to curate it to exactly how you want those around you to perceive you professionally and personally. Making your social media accounts a mix of insights into your life, your passions, and great photos of yourself will help you be seen on the internet as a well-rounded professional.
Developing your personal brand helps you gain confidence, specify your role in the workplace and helps those around you define you the way you want to be defined. Keeping your brand consistent on paper, in person and online is a great start to help you propel into the career and life you dream of.