McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and White Castle are brands, with powerful marketing and promotional efforts to  help you differentiate and desire their products. Even though they all serve burgers and fries, most people would not mistake one for another. We’ve learned about them from their advertisements, our personal experiences, and their marketing choices. Somehow, we get a different feeling from each of them and we may like one over another.

Yes, You Have A Personal Brand!

Personal branding is a lot like branding in the business world. The big difference is that personal branding often happens to you, rather than by you, because many people donut make the effort to learn about personal branding and learn personal branding techniques.

Why do people like you? What skills and talents do you offer? Why do people rely on you? For instance, are you a good listener, are you good with technology, or do you know how to take photographs? These are the types of talents that may attract others. Whatever you’re known for – that’s your personal brand. Personal branding is the process of becoming more aware of your reputation, then shaping and promoting it intentionally.

With personal branding techniques, you can take charge of your reputation and improve your job search and career success. These three personal branding tips will get you started!

Step 1: Ask yourself how others see you.

The first step to building your brand is identifying some of the assets you could most easily brand, because they are already part of your reputation. To find out the best qualities you offer, ask the people you know why they would go to you for help, support, or advice. Ask them what special personal qualities, talents, or skills they think you can offer, and why they think you would be the right person to offer that assistance. Ask your friends, family members, a former boss, or your roommate. If they can’t think of something, ask them what they think is your reputation. Using different words or phrases, such as “go-to person” or “reputation,” can lead to new insights.

Step 2: Consider whether these are the qualities you want to brand for yourself, and then develop them further or make some changes!

Now that you’ve learned how others view you, decide if these qualities are important to you and if you’d like to be known for them. With this self-exploration, you’re deciding how you want to shape your personal brand.

Are these assets being honed, utilized, and enhanced through experiences?

After you decide which qualities are the ones you value, examine your activities, courses, and experiences to see where you use or build these strengths. If you aren’t developing them, consider adding new activities that make them part of your current experience. For instance, if you’re the one your friends go to for advice on their dating relationships, consider becoming a peer educator, taking a psychology class, or writing a column about dating in the school paper.

Step 3: Now, share your brand.

Look at your social media, and see if the message about your greatest assets comes through. Examine your resume. Look at your course list. As you go through all of the information and documents you have for yourself, look to see if these qualities you value come through. If not, consider if you need more experiences that back up these strengths, or if you just need to highlight them more.

As you better understand your personal brand, and choose activities that support it, you will find that your message starts to shine through, and soon you’ll have even more people seeking you out for the assets you want to use most!

Tell us how you are building your personal brand.

About The Author

Francine Fabricant_headshotFrancine Fabricant is a career counselor and the lead author of Creating Career Success. She has an extraordinary passion for career development, and is a frequent speaker on career topics. She has worked at the Columbia University Center for Career Education and FIT’s Career Services. She received an MA and EdM from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BA cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University. Visit her website at