Yes, You Do Need a Personal Brand
Written by: Creative Content Producer, Cally Crocco
We have reached a point in careers in media, communication, and design where being “so-and-so who does this-and-that” no longer cuts it. Hi, I’m Anthony and I’m a UI designer is synonymous with throw my resume in the trash.
Everything we do as employable individuals, from the way we walk, talk and dress in an interview to our mannerisms, is a way to communicate nonverbally. Even our beliefs and values all contribute to how we are perceived as people.
How are we perceived on paper beyond just who we are and what we do? There is only so much the words on a resume, cover letter, and portfolio can provide in terms of conveying the who and the what. Personal branding carries out the rest, by linking your name and job title to your personality and flavor.
Let’s put it this way. Are you going to order “Chicken Breast” off the menu, or will you go for the “Local, free-range chicken breast marinated in a lemon-rosemary vinaigrette grilled to juicy, tender perfection topped with capers and a sprig of garden-fresh parsley.”
Exactly. Your on-paper existence needs to be colorful, flavorful and decorated just as you want the dish you order at your favorite restaurant to be. It’s a sneak peak of who you are and what you do.
A personal brand shows that you are multifaceted. It showcases your individuality, which cannot be conveyed through copy on a resume. Your personal brand will sell you as a desirable candidate, one that is unique and unforgettable. Maybe you are someone that associates their own personality with happy colors. Or, perhaps you are someone that wants their image to be a clean, white, minimalist aesthetic. Or even someone who wants to convey their bold, strong and finite characteristics through dark, solid, blocky text.
While there are many sides to developing a personal brand, we’re going to focus of the visual and aesthetic elements. Think resume heading, logos, business card, website layout/design, and social media profiles.
Here are just a few pointers to get started on developing your personal brand identity.
Create cohesion across all career related deliverables (resume, business cards, and website): A potential employer or client should be able to spot any of your marketing pieces— like your business card, resume, or website— and recognize that it’s you because they all have a similar look and feel, and appear to exist in a set. This comes down to the most fundamental design elements. Choose your typefaces, logo, headings, and layouts carefully and stick to them across all of these elements that an employer or client would come across.
Choose a color scheme: Just because hot pink was your favorite color as a child, doesn’t mean it should dominate your personal palette. Chose a few colors to use in anything you design that represent you on paper. The colors you pick should appear across the three items mentioned before: resume, business card, and website. Choose between two and three colors (not including black, white, grey, and off-white) that you feel represent you as an individual. Make sure the colors represent you and your style and you’ll attract employers and clients who admire that same style.
Use a strong headshot across all platforms: Your headshot photo for your profile image should be the same across all of your social media pages. Not only does this put a face to your name for anyone reviewing your resume, but it creates a unanimous presence across all platforms, making it easier for people (both professionally and personally) to find you.
Clean up your social media presence: Your personal online presence should be clean enough that you can use your professional headshot as your personal profile images if you wish to do so. Basic self-respect rules apply here: if you wouldn’t want a potential employer to stumble across what you post on social media, you shouldn’t want your friends and family to see it either. Keep it clean.
Beef up professional online presence: And finally, build up your professional online presence in any way you can and be sure to promote your unified, distinguishable brand wherever possible.
Yes, you do need a personal brand identity to really be successful in the world media and communication!