Personal branding: How to market yourself for the professional world

By Cecilia Luna

The job market has changed dramatically since our parents and teachers entered it. It used to be that merit alone could land a desired position, but nowadays a resume isn’t the only thing your employers look at social media, digital, and personal presentation matter as well. Personal branding how you present and market yourself begins the moment you choose a career path. As a public relations major, I’ve learned a lot about how to brand yourself in a way that fits the workplace. Here’s how I created my personal brand.

Find what best represents you

Search the Internet, magazines, Tumblr, or random artwork on Google for things you find interesting. Creating your personal aesthetic begins by discovering a color palette, as well as text types, and images to represent yourself.

Take what stands out to you and create a mood board a collage made up of images, photos, inspirational quotes, etc. to bring your personal brand to life. These can be created online or the old-school way with a piece of cardboard, scissors, and glue.

Mood board    Sports mood board 
Courtesy of The Fresh Exchange blog and Kayla Kitts/HGTV.

Set a guide for yourself

Many students find that creating a style guide for themselves helps in creating resumes and business cards that match their online presence. A style guide essentially includes three to four colors, typefaces, and image styles you feel best represent you. These will be used for almost everything you put your name on.

Color Palette

Personal branding consistency

The whole point of a style guide is to use it as a reference for everything you choose to brand yourself. Think about it, if a potential employer is holding your resume in hand, with purple header text and a Times New Roman typeface, they shouldn’t see neon green Comic Sans lettering on your WordPress page. You want people to be able to identify you and your style, and get a feeling for the type of person you are.

Personal branding consistency

Bonus tip: Use the same header image across all social media websites, and even use the same head shot as your profile picture for all accounts! Your header image can also be used for your resume.

Personal branding consistency 

DO NOT use another person’s image without permission. (Actually, try not to use other people’s images at all.) It’s just messy, and your safest bet is to use your own photos for everything. Try using Adobe Photoshop to create a header image like I did!

Make your interests known

From architects to zoologists and everything in between, whatever you're studying, make sure your mood boards, social media accounts, and resume reflect that.

Whatever your interests are, make them apparent. Not only will it help companies get to know you better, but it can also help you land more jobs that cater to what you actually want to be doing. While all of these tips are great ways to polish up for future job applications and resumes, the most important tip for personal branding is to be yourself!

Brand yourself and get out there! Start building your resume by finding a college job or internship.

About the author

Cecilia will give us an inside look at a day in the life of a college student, sharing her journey with us every step of the way. She’s a second-year public relations major at the University of Florida. Her hometown is in south Florida, in the small town of Clewiston, and she’s ready to make her mark. “Not only am I learning to adjust to a bigger city, but all of the adventures this big university brings along with it.” You can follow her adventures right here on Unigo!