Published: January 26, 2024

Seventy percent of hiring managers say that a strong personal brand is more important than a strong resume, LinkedIn reports. But what does that even mean? Does everybody need a personal brand? What happens if you don’t follow suit—what’s the risk?

Dr. Matteo Peroni, D.B.A., associate professor of marketing at Lynn University’s College of Business and Management, discusses the importance of a personal brand in today’s business landscape.

What is a personal brand?

“A personal brand is the image of yourself that you craft, grow and use to represent you professionally and publicly,” says Peroni. “This image should project not only your skills and values but also your personality.”

Perception is how you make sense of the world around you, and marketing is a game of perception, Peroni says.

“What perception do you want to project of yourself? When they shake your hand, when they look you in the eye, during the first five minutes of an interview—what do you want them to think about you?”

Why is having a personal brand important?

Having a personal brand sets you apart in a competitive marketplace. A strong one can bode well for your job search and help you build your career.

“It’s a crowded world,” Peroni says. “Millennials and Gen Zers are graduating with business degrees, and the job market is getting more competitive. So many graduates entering the workforce cookie cut themselves into these avatars of what they think is popular. But no, they have to learn how to differentiate themselves; otherwise, there's nothing really interesting to offer to a potential employer.”

Another advantage of a strong personal brand is that it helps you match with employers who would make a good fit. If your personal brand is creative, vivacious and enthusiastic, would you be happy working somewhere that’s buttoned-up, by the book and reserved? Probably not. But if a creative and enthusiastic employer finds that you’re the same way, it could be a good fit for everyone all around.

5 tips for creating your personal brand

Determine how much time, resources and money you will allocate

A brand is, fundamentally, an asset, and building any asset requires three things: time, resources and money. When you invest these three things into yourself, you're investing in your personal brand.

“That's what I tell my students from their freshman year all the way through graduation,” Peroni says. “I ask them, ‘How much time, money and resources are you investing in yourself to grow your personal brand and set yourself apart from the thousands of other graduates who are hunting for the same jobs as you are?’”

“Resources” include tools and publications that help you be a well-rounded person who understands current events and their own industry.

“Are you aware of what's going on in the world, or have you been cocooned on TikTok for the past four years?” Peroni says. “Employers like to test these waters. Invest in a subscription to The Wall Street Journal. Be well-read and keep up with the news.”

Additional resources that can help you build your brand include:

  • Think with Google. This free-to-access resource reports on the latest consumer and cultural trends, statistics and trend reports. Google leverages its own digital search metrics to draw these insights.
  • Google Trends. Another free resource from Google, Google Trends analyzes the popularity of top search queries.
  • Grow with Google. This resource offers online training programs and certifications designed to help you qualify for jobs in high-growth fields. Some programs have a cost.

“The more you invest resources in a brand, the greater the value of the brand grows,” Peroni says. “If you deprive the brand of resources, the brand starts to water down and loses perceivable value to customers. This is the same principle when it comes to personal branding.”

Figure out your value proposition

Your value proposition is a statement that succinctly communicates the benefits you offer to others. To craft yours, first ask yourself:

  • What are your skills and credentials? Have you won any awards?
  • What are you passionate about? What industries and topics are you most interested in?
  • What are your core values? What do you believe in? What unique perspective could you bring to any organization?

Use your answers to write a brief personal value proposition statement.

Determine your brand voice

Just as any major organization has a clearly defined brand voice, you should as well. A personal brand voice should reflect your personality, and it should be mirrored in your digital presence (discussed more below).

Examples of personal brand voices include: sassy, professional, irreverent, positive, funny, quirky, formal, informal, optimistic and motivating.

Review and optimize your digital presence

This tip doesn’t just apply to your LinkedIn profile (although that’s an important platform for job seekers and anyone looking to grow their career). Across all platforms, make sure you have a unified presentation that reflects your brand. Your various profiles should represent your current goals and achievements in the brand voice you created.

In addition to LinkedIn, which platforms should you have a presence on? Other platforms to consider include:

  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor
  • Monster
  • Handshake
  • Medium
  • If applicable to your line of work, Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter)

Consistently prioritize authenticity and trustworthiness

A strong personal brand is built on authenticity. Be genuine, transparent and consistent.

When creating, publishing and sharing content (if doing so is relevant to your brand and/or career), make sure you’re providing value to your audience with informative and engaging content. Write about or share trending topics in your industry and add your perspective to the conversation.

Building a trustworthy personal brand takes time; authenticity is vital.

Launch a career in marketing with Lynn University

Building a personal brand is not a one-and-done deal; it takes time, money and resources. But the payoff could be the career of your dreams.

If a bachelor's degree in marketing could help you reach your career goals, reach out to request more information. A Lynn University student success manager will connect with you to see how we can help.

Notes and conditions - PLEASE READ

Employment and career advancement: Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment. Lynn University does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement.

About the Author

Lynn University

Take your education to the next level with Lynn University's high-quality, flexible and affordable online bachelor's degree programs. Whether you're interested in business, education, communication, aviation, criminal justice or the arts and sciences, you'll find something here for you. Explore programs led by established faculty members who are passionate about your success.