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Personal Branding: Building a Professional Reputation

Your personal brand is what a person thinks of when your name is brought up in conversation; the first thought that someone has when you walk into a room. It is affected by most everything you do, including the way you present yourself on social media.

 Cat Manion, of The Paige Group, stopped by Indium Corporation, to teach the interns about our personal brands and how to develop a concise and consistent strategy to cultivate them.

A personal brand, as she described it, is how you appear according to others. Oftentimes, the way we see ourselves can be very different in contrast to an outside perspective, especially when it’s someone you’re meeting for the first time. Some of the most common platforms where first impressions occur are through personal networking, social media, and resumes.

The way you present your personal brand to others can be divided into three categories: how you look, how you act, and the basics. Wearing clothes that present you as a confident and successful person, makes a significant difference in what others think of you. Your mannerisms and your personality help others to gauge you, and help establish rapport. The basics include the “elevator pitch”, where you have to describe who you are to a stranger in 30 seconds, limiting your explanation to the most crucial elements that define what you represent.

Our focus was specifically on personal brands in social media, and how companies will often conduct a thorough investigation into who you are personally, compared to professionally. Improvements were suggested for each of our personal social media sites, such as removing questionable comments and restricting questionable photos. For LinkedIn, specifically, it was suggested that we request previous supervisors or coworkers to  post references on our professional page, usually pertinent to a particular skill.

Overall, whatever it is that defines your personality, be sure to keep it consistent across all platforms. All our hard work to maintain a good reputation can be ruined by one social media entry. Build your personal brand as if you were the CEO of your own company, and take the responsibility to build a good image around yourself.