personal branding

How to Build Your Brand at Work Tips From a Personal Branding Expert

Build a strong personal brand to compete in today's job job market. In this article, I’ll share the techniques and strategies I use with my clients.

Building a strong personal brand is essential in today’s competitive job market. Working with a personal brand coach is a great way to begin. In this article, I’ll share some of the techniques and strategies I use with my clients.

A well-defined personal brand is the key to unlocking your job search! It can help you get over that “stuck feeling” and stand out from the crowd. Building a personal brand can also help you attract opportunities aligned with your goals and interests.

As a personal branding coach, I specialize in helping executives build personal brands, but have developed a framework and strategy I’ve used to help jobseekers at all levels pivot careers, level up, and advance their career.

In this step-by-step guide, I’ll walk through the key elements of building a personal brand. These tips apply whether you building a personal brand as an executive, changing careers, or just starting out in your career.

We will explore building a personal brand with a focus on helping job seekers. I’ll provide actionable tips to help you create a compelling and authentic brand that resonates with your target audience.

What is Personal Branding?

Your Personal Brand is Your Reputation

Think of building your personal brand as setting an intention for what you want to be known for. This process will help you identify the types of projects you’d like to be tapped on the shoulder for, and help you clearly identify the ideal roles and companies to target.

Your personal brand is essentially who you are, how you show up, and what you can be counted on to deliver. Simply put, it’s what people will say about you when you are not in the room. It’s the impression you leave behind.

Personal Branding Helps You Control the Narrative

Purposefully building a compelling and authentic personal brand enables you to take control of your career narrative. Everyone has gaps or left turns in their career journeys! Don’t leave a reader guessing. Instead, purposefully tell the story of how your career twists and turns align with the roles you are targeting.

For example, a transitioning teacher with a strong interest in wine and spirits sales might want to weave in her part-time gig as a salon sales representative. This helps to demonstrate a pattern of success in sales.

Everyone has moments like this in their career. They help to convey fit and uniqueness. Sometimes, you just need an outside perspective to help uncover yours.

Your personal brand sets the scene for a potential employer. Continuously showing up online and in person — on LinkedIn, in your resume, and in real life — demonstrates individuality, results, and transferable skills. These will all help a potential employer see your potential fit within their organization. 

Personal Branding Makes You Memorable

Maya Angelou famously said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That connection, creating a deeper level of impact that is memorable beyond the moment, is the essence of personal branding.

Taking the same example of a transitioning teacher focused on sales, the fact that she was the top-selling girl scout cookie seller in her town at the age of 10 might be totally irrelevant if her career target was different, but for an aspiring salesperson, it can be that memorable extra detail that keeps you top-of-mind as a candidate.

Story is what helps to connect the logical right brain with the feeling, emotional left brain to create memorable connections!

Why is Personal Branding Important?

Your Personal Brand is Your Reputation

Without a clear understanding of who you are, how you show up, and what you can be counted on to deliver, you’re sending a muddy representation to jobseekers. It is how you want to be seen by the world.

If you’re struggling to define your personal brand, start by asking yourself these 3 (seemlingly easy) questions.

1) What’s your why?

Why do you do the work you do? This can be both personal and professional in nature.

Connecting your personal values and the outcomes of work you do helps you to show up in more meaningful ways consistently. It will also help you navigate towards work that matters to you.

2) What types of projects or results are you sought out for? This is an interesting one and pay close attention to your findings.

If you are consistently sought out for projects not aligned with your interests, your brand probably needs work!

A good first step is to meet with your boss and discuss how you can be seen as the go to for projects more in your desired wheelhouse.

3) What would come to a screeching halt if you fell off the earth? This is one of my favorites because it gets to the heart of talents and growth mindset.

You are naturally good a certain set of skills. This is not to say that you cannot improve on others, but if you focus on doing work naturally aligned with your skillset, you will likely gain more satisfaction, get noticed faster, and experience success more quickly.

These talents are usually aligned with the work that comes most naturally for you. I love this question because it can help you unearth the nature of that work.

Answering these questions yourself, and getting feedback from trusted colleagues, coworkers, and mentors can help you begin to build out the foundation of your personal brand.

Crafting Your Personal Brand Story

One of my favorite techniques for translating less than perfect, non-linear backgrounds into target roles is the through line.

Finding the Throughline as the Foundation of Your Personal Brand

Hiring managers all have different needs. Building your personal brand is all about identifying the set of needs that you are most qualified to fulfill. Simply, what problems do you solve. Once you know that, you can identify the companies, industries, and decision makers who have those problems.

The same job in 5 different companies, or on 5 different teams in the same company, can be filling a broad range of capabilities gaps and a different set of goals.

For this reason, it’s so critical to get as specific as possible in showcasing your unique value proposition.

What are your brand values? Defining Your Brand Story

Identify key moments and experiences that have shaped your journey.

No one that does you quite like you, and no one else will have the same set of unique skills, experiences, and contacts to apply to a role.

Determine the central theme or message of your brand story.

Finding those recurring themes is what helps you grab attention and inspire action in hiring managers, sparking interest that makes them want connect with you and learn more about your experience.

Craft a compelling narrative that resonates with your target audience

For example, a project manager with a background as an application developer will have a different background than someone who came from the business side.

You will both add value but in different ways! That value touchpoint is what you need to highlight as you move through each experience in your resume and other career collateral.

Some themes that show up for my clients are:

The ability to spot inflection points and capitalize on them

The ability to galvanize teams to execute against challenging goals

  • The ability to stay the course despite constantly shifting priorities.

It’s that magic overlap your hard skills, soft skills, and the situations you apply them to in order to achieve results.

Communicate Your Brand Story with Your Elevator Pitch

Developing a concise elevator pitch that tells your brand story is a critical piece of the personal branding puzzle. This is how you will answer: “Tell Me About Yourself”

You know it’s coming…don’t wing it!

This elevator pitch formula is easy to memorize, easy to customize, and direct.

Using the brand language we’ve already developed, prepare and practice your elevator pitch!

  • I am a (superpower)
  • I have (3 key highlights)
  • Currently, I (role/company)
  • In my next role, I (next steps)

Here are 3 examples of elevator pitches that use my easy pitch formula!

Internal Communications: I am a communications professional who bridges the gap between employees and corporate culture to deliver record-setting engagement levels.

Coach: I am a career coach with over 10 years of corporate marketing experience who helps high achievers craft compelling career narratives to land jobs they love.

Project Manager: I am a project manager by trade and engineer by training who excels at translating requirements between business/technical stakeholders and keeping projects on track.

Branding Your Resume

Once you have defined your goals, your target market, your brand values, and your unique value proposition, you should integrate that same messaging into your resume.

A key area to focus on in your resume is the headline. If you are struggling to create a branded headline for your resume, you can try this 3-step formula!

1) Identify your brand pillars.

Use job descriptions AND a deep dive exploration of your own experience. These are typically the things you are continually called upon for. They are things that you do with ease, and the parts of your job that you are often asked for advice on.

2) Quantify results you’ve delivered in each area.

It’s not enough to claim expertise – you’ll need to show it as well! Aim for an overarching metric that highlights the scope of results delivered consistently during your career.

3) Put it together.

Take out non-value-added words and fluff and use a telegraphic style (no pronouns). Try also removing articles (a/an/the) and forms of the verb to be (be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been) to write succinctly.

Here is an example:

Sales Executive

Global Leadership | Revenue Growth | Retention

Leading Global Sales Teams of 15+ to Close & Retain 8-Figure Relationships


Building your personal brand is a continuous process that requires self-reflection, consistency, and authenticity. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a strong personal brand!

Having a clear brand sets you apart from the competition and attracts opportunities aligned with your goals and values. Remember, your personal brand is not just about promoting yourself. It’s also about making a positive impact and building meaningful connections with your audience.

Need help? Set up a discovery call with me at


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