How building a personal brand online can help advance your career [Infographic]
The concept is far from new, but our digital age has greatly escalated the importance of building a personal brand. Whether you’re journeying through a stressful job search, you’re eager for a promotion within your current organization or you’re thinking of making a jump and changing industries entirely, the greatest impression you can make is through your personal brand.
In today’s professional landscape, nothing will have a greater impact on your personal brand than the strength of your digital presence. Join us as we dive into the basics of personal branding and use our infographic to gather some practical tips for strengthening your professional presence online.
What does ‘personal brand’ mean?
A personal brand is a summary of how a person presents themselves to the world. While branding was once reserved for businesses, the rise in importance of social media and virtual networking has made solidifying your own digital presence more important than ever.
In today’s digital era, your personal brand includes just about anything people can find about you on the web. For that reason, it can be vital to think critically about all of the information that’s accessible when people search your name online. When curated effectively, a personal brand should be an evolving, largely digital profile that is comprised of the unique combination of skills and experiences that would make you an asset to whatever organization you set your professional sights on.
“A powerful brand can help define your transferable skills when moving from one industry to the next, when pursuing a promotion or simply when you want to take on new challenges in your current role,” explains Katy Curameng, director of career planning and development at University of Massachusetts Global.
“People are more willing to take a chance on you — even with no direct experience — if they have a positive perception of what they can expect from you,” she adds.
How to build a strong personal brand
In an effort to learn more about the importance of personal branding, we sought Curameng’s expertise in tandem with that of Nhadira Johnson, leadership consultant, University of Massachusetts Global instructor and host of UMass Global’s webinar, “Why personal branding is essential to advancing your career.” With their insight, we created this handy infographic to act as your guide to establishing a personal brand you can be proud of.
With 70 percent of employers reportedly using social media to screen job candidates and 50 percent admitting to monitoring current employees’ online behavior, it’s clear that personal branding can have a hefty impact on a person’s career prospects.
As you take steps to develop and strengthen your personal brand, it’s helpful to consider some advice from our experts. “The most important aspect of personal branding is that it must always be authentic,” Curameng offers. “When you don’t live up to the brand that you have created online, you risk creating the perception that you cannot be counted on and are not trustworthy.”
In Johnson’s webinar, she reminds professionals that their personal brand doesn’t have to be set in stone. If you assess your brand and decide it’s not as effective as you’d like it to be, there’s always something you can do to improve it. “Do something today to improve your brand tomorrow,” she advises.
Improve your personal brand
As you seek to strengthen your digital presence in ways that can help drive your career forward, one surefire way you can enhance your personal brand is to amplify your professional qualifications in your industry. This could mean earning an advanced degree or even exploring the various professional development opportunities that exist at schools like University of Massachusetts Global.
UMass Global's Extended Education options, for example, include online professional development courses, certification exam preparation opportunities, workshops, certificate programs and more. For a full list of University of Massachusetts Global’s course and program offerings, head over to the Academic Programs page.
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