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How to build a professional personal brand online

By Hannah Rafter


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The idea of having a personal brand is not a new one, it's a concept that has been evident in the business world and entrepreneurship space for a while now, but over recent years it has become a factor for a wider audience who now see its potential and is the hot topic of conversation amongst students and young professionals. But why?

What is it and how to do it well

Having a public personal brand is in essence having a professional presence online that represents what you do and what you can offer the world. This can be seen as you showcasing your skills or talents or it can simply be a record of who you are and what you are up to in your career, like an online CV. Either is important for being seen and heard, not only in your field but by other professionals who may be interested in you. A common misconception is that in order to have a personal brand you must sell services or offer something, this is not the case. In simple terms, you are the brand.

Many people are now more aware than ever before that a personal online presence can affect a career, and they would be right. Future, and even current employers use social media channels to scout candidates so developing a professional personal brand will be an important part of your overall social media profile.

What tools should you use to develop your personal brand?

There are many free tools available to insure your google search list is impressive and fully representative of who you are and how you want to be seen.

Key tools:

• The Dots
The dots is a perfect example of displaying your experiences as well as your achievements in online space. The Dots allows you to upload ‘projects’ and can be a great way to not only show credit for your work but also credit other team members. The Dots have already indicated that current large corporations are looking to Dots profiles to hire future candidates.

• Online website
More and more people are creating their own website. This could be something simple like hannahrafter.com. What should you include? Well, you could provide greater detail of your CV, describing further achievements and projects you’ve worked on. You may want to get a little more personal and showcase your interests and hobbies outside of the workplace. You can also have a contact me page where you can share what career interests you have and the circumstances in which you would like to be contacted and what opportunities you would be open to.

• Instagram
Instagram is potentially the hardest one to understand how to navigate, not how to use it, but what to share on it. People, more commonly, have ‘work instagram’ accounts to showcase their creative ability or visual skills. By using Instagram to build your personal professional brand can be a different way to get ahead of the curve.

These are just some of the ways to build a strong, 360 degree professional brand. If a platform out there exists that will help you showcase who you are and what you can do, then why not be on it? Setting up a profile on sites like those mentioned takes around 20 minutes on average. That is 20 minutes of your time which will allow you to be seen, heard and potentially hired. No matter your age, industry or job title, we can all improve our professional online presence!

Photo: Pexels

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