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Tips to Stay Positive & Productive at Home or Back in the Office
September 5, 2020

4 Personal Branding Mistakes You Might Be Making

Do you have a personal brand? Psst … you do. Everyone has a personal brand, whether they’re intentional about it or not. That’s why we recommend taking a few minutes to assess yours.

Personal branding lets employers see the complete you: what motivates you, your passions, your assets, and what sets you apart from everyone else. How you appear to employers can make the difference between landing the job of your dreams … or coming up short.

How can your personal brand present itself? Here are a few ways:

  • Your social media accounts
  • Your “elevator pitch” to recruiters (30- to 60-second story about who you are and the impact you can make)
  • How you introduce yourself while networking
  • Your portfolio website
  • Your communication style (email responsiveness, how you handle feedback, etc.)

Just like the infamous resume, there are do’s and don’ts as you start assessing your personal brand and making changes.

Here are a few pitfalls to avoid as you get started:

1. Being Too Vague

Who ARE you? What do you stand for? What are your hobbies? What are your self-improvement goals? The first step to personal branding is knowing exactly who you are and what you have to offer.

If you’re not sure what makes you stand out or aren’t sure how to verbalize your strengths, then try this free assessment from Tony Robbins. This can help you understand yourself better and can help highlight hidden strengths you didn’t know you had.

Once you understand who you are, it will help you tell your story and write your own “elevator pitch” (learn how to write one here). Every employer should understand your employment story and that means, skills, attitudes, motivators, and accomplishments.  Be you, but do not be so vague that you leave your interviewer confused as to what you want or who you are.  Afterall, there is no one like you on this planet. Be proud.

2. Overlooking Social Media Profiles

I know what you did last summer … and so does HR.

If an employer plugs your name into a search engine (and they will), what are they going to find? Social media sites are no longer considered separate from your work life. Take a minute to get your heart rate under control and then go through your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles like you’re a stranger trying to learn more. What do you see? What’s your first impression of yourself? If your impression is “YIKES” then it’s time for a social scrub!

LinkedIn should not be the only place you’re putting your best foot forward. If you use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, then you can bet what you post, like, or retweet will be added to your online image. Do not be afraid of these sites – just make sure you’re using them to your advantage! They can be great tools to succinctly reinforce your personal brand with purposeful posts, shares and likes.

3. Presenting a Fake Image

We all know when someone is being fake. It’s cringeworthy to watch. Even after cringing over someone else being fake, it can be tempting to make a few “creative adjustments” to your own personal branding. Especially after you look at yourself through the eyes of an employer.

When having conversations with potential employers, or even while networking, avoid the temptation to make yourself appear too good to be true. A fake image is easy to spot by a seasoned employer and well … everyone else. Be genuine. Have confidence in who you are and what you have to offer!

4. Forgetting the Fine Details ⚠️

Typos and spelling errors are a big deal and will distract from your personal brand. These can happen on your resume, while corresponding via email with a recruiter, on your personal website … anywhere!

If you’ve spent time to build a personal branding website, make sure you have someone look over it for grammatical errors. They can also help you look at other errors that add up, like making sure your photos are cropped properly and testing links to make sure they go to the correct site. Ask someone who is good at proofreading and who will give you their honest feedback.

Westphal Staffing Can Help ‍♀️

Are you ready for a career upgrade? Use the steps above to start fixing your personal brand image and visit our website to find your next adventure! For a personalized consultation, contact us today to speak with a recruitment specialist. We will talk about your skillsets, what you are looking for, any opportunities that might be a fit for you, and offer insights as you create your personal brand. In just a few minutes we can start planning your next adventure!