Personal Branding


What is Personal Branding?  Why Does It Matter?
Where Do I Start? Additional Information

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is your professional image online and in person. It is a way to highlight your unique contributions that differentiate you from everyone else. It is an opportunity to personalize your online content -- from your professional photo to marketing your skills and knowledge in a particular area.

It is not a logo or just your title or role. Your personal brand is about who you are and how others perceive you including: your resume, cover letter, appearance, and attitude; your LinkedIn, facebook, twitter and other social media; your email signature, online portfolio, blog and even your outgoing voicemail message on your phone. It is how others experience and remember you.


 Why Does It Matter?

Personal branding is important because it allows you to manage your online presence. It is a way for you to take the digital information that already exists about you and make sure it is professional, consistent and authentic. Being consistent helps you build a positive reputation over time.

Your online presence may be your first impression to an employer. You do not want your profile picture or inappropriate posts to hurt your future opportunities. Personal branding can help you show your professionalism, personality, values, knowledge, relevant work experience,  and volunteer experience as well as help build your professional network. It is a process that is ongoing, evolving and takes some time to manage.


Where Do I Start?


  • Check your privacy settings on all of your existing social media.
  • To control your online image, be sure to require permission to be tagged in photos and posts.
  • Change your profile pictures on all of your social media sites to a professional image.  The Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication offers a Photo Studio free for students.  Schedule online at:
  • Create and complete a LinkedIn profile. Begin adding contacts to your professional network including people from your internship site, a faculty member or a professional that you have job shadowed.
  • Come up with a dynamic headline for LinkedIn or other social media.  For example:
    • Before: Student at Gustavus Adolphus College
    • After: Analytical, success-driven biology major, with experience in laboratory settings
  • Start a blog. Having a professional blog is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge of a subject area, your writing ability, your love of travel or your volunteer work. If you are not ready to start your own blog, follow others in the career fields you are interested in. Post professional comments on LinkedIn, twitter, facebook and other social media of industry leaders or companies you are interested in working for.
  • Join relevant groups on LinkedIn related to your career field. Join the Gustavus Adolphus College Alumni group.
  • Recommend books. Share an article. Retweet relevant information from your desired career field.


Additional Information

LinkedIn for Students

Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn


Updated 6/8/2016 CO