How to build your personal brand

By Matt Hayes | 18th October 2023

Build a personal brand that gets you noticed

Personal branding is an extension of who you are, how you are remembered and how people associate with you. With over 90% of recruiters now using social networking sites in their recruitment process, it isn’t a giant leap to make the lateral assumption that if these channels are used for talent acquisition, it is likely that the same can be said for prospective employees.

What does your online reputation say about you?

As professionals look for more information regarding job opportunities and potential employers, why wouldn’t the same happen in reverse? Debate the issue of privacy all you want, people Google you. A simple personal audit is a great starting point to see how you are reflected online. Do you have a web presence? If you don’t know the answer, Google yourself.

Your online brand is about providing a consistent, positive and authentic reflection of who you are. Your personal brand is your reputation.

How to build your personal online brand

Let’s assume you have a neutral online reputation. Yes, there are results about you, but they neither help nor hinder – this is a good starting point. If you don’t show up online at all, then let’s get started. There are many ways you can leverage your online presence to get on the radar of potential employers and recruiters.

  1. Be authentic

The key to any successful build is the foundation. The same can be said for your personal brand. Your personal online brand isn’t about crafting a persona of who you think people want you to be. It’s an accurate reflection of you who are. It’s your authentic self, reflecting your passions, values and skills, consistently and in your own words. Create a foundation that you can build on authentically with confidence.

  1. Take stock

Run a regular audit of your social channels. How are you being represented online, what is being posted and how you are tagged. Post consistently and regularly to build a positive presence.

  1. Exercise your privacy

With the introduction of GDPR in May 2018, data protection is very much on the side of the individual. The information on your social channels that you want to be available online is down to you. Review your privacy settings and implement the appropriate settings for you, to keep channels locked down or available.

  1. Consider what you post

There’s a single step that you can add into the process of keeping your profile interesting and relevant and that’s consideration. Consider what you post and how you post it. Is what you’re posting relevant the channel’s audience, or could it be misinterpreted or considered controversial?  It’s important that the content you publish in the public domain is authentic and connects with the audience that it is targeting.

  1. Build your network

When you have a personal brand that clearly articulates who you are and what you do, it makes it easier for other people to see value in connecting with you. Grow your professional network and leverage your connections. Follow key industry experts and companies you want to work for and join groups relevant to your skillset.

  1. Raise awareness

Increase awareness of your expertise across your professional network, by engaging in online discussion groups or providing value-added commentary on topical discussions. Share content that is relevant to your audience and contribute new and fresh content, to demonstrate your knowledge. Ask previous employers or clients you have worked with to recommend you, which will add to the credibility your profile.

  1. Respond with empathy

Putting yourself out there means that people will respond and engage with topics that interest them or are aligned to their skillset. It is likely that there might be responses that contradict your overall assessment and that’s okay. Consider people’s responses, assess the merit of what is being said and respond with empathy and respect. Keep your response on topic. It’s not personal.

  1. Your professional profile

Whilst your personal brand in consistently you, the tone, messaging and content of your profiles will vary to accommodate the channels’ audience and purpose. In the corporate world, LinkedIn is widely regarded as the professional network that is a go-to for both recruiters and employers for sourcing talent.

How does your professional profile stack up? Here’s our quick check list to get you started:

  1. Add a clear and current photo that looks like you, where your face takes up around 60% of the available space
  2. Use the headline to succinctly say a bit more about what you do including your job title
  3. Make sure you fill in your summary. This is the bit about you – your authentic story
  4. Sell your skills, experiences and competencies – stay clear of buzzwords
  5. Add your skills, so others can endorse them
  6. If you’re a consultant, spotlight your services
  7. Use visual media to enhance your skills
  8. Customise your URL
  9. Ask for recommendations to ratify what your profile is highlighting
  10. Comment on posts – sharing is great, but you could do more

We’re all for sharing so take a look at our LinkedIn profiles (Chris & Matt) and let us know what you think.

We’re here to create opportunities for people in technology to exceed their career ambitions with passion, empathy and respect and would love to hear from you if you’re considering a career move in technology.