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personal branding job searchSo you’ve learned the importance of a personal brand and have made the decision to start working on your own…but what’s next? This is a very common question that has been asked by several senior level professionals just like you. As it turns out, building a personal brand is hard, but it can very much be done! Here’s how.

1. Think About Yourself

Every employee, and especially every senior level professional, has something significant to offer a company. You will have to tap into just what your skills and positive personal traits are before you begin crafting your personal brand. In fact, this is the first step of c-level personal branding. It may help to approach this issue from the perspective of an employer and figure out what traits are most desirable in any employee, then work backwards to hash out what makes you unique from every other applicant out there. Craft a story about yourself for your hiring audience to read.

2. Start Pruning Your Presence Online

While no one will admit to Googling themselves, it will actually help you figure out one of the most important parts of branding yourself—your name. Keep track of how you’re mentioned online and whether it’s in a negative or positive context.

3. Be Mindful of Your Internet Activities

Now that you have an idea of how you’re perceived online, you’ll have to make sure to keep these perceptions under control. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want potential employers to find later on. If you’ve already engaged in online activities that you wouldn’t necessarily want employers to discover, you will generally have the option to delete them—but be careful!

You can never completely erase something from the Internet once it’s there. In the meantime, you can do any necessary damage control by carefully considering what you post and only letting pictures and other forms of media slip through if they contribute to your efforts toward personal branding for senior level managers.

4. Build a Website

Thanks to the advancement of the Internet, building a website is easier than ever! “Why do I need one?” you may ask. For starters, so many business interactions now take place online…from consumers to businesses to potential employees and those in charge of hiring them. A website is a wonderful way of presenting yourself to the world in a quick and aesthetically pleasing manner. Don’t think you have to go big and flashy! Just a paragraph about yourself, contact links and a well written resume will do.

5. Look to Older, More Successful Brands

You can find other people who’ve built personal brands by connecting with those who are in either the same industry or are alumni from your alma mater. (See 4 Easy Networking Tips!) Connect with these people as soon as possible for tips on how to better construct your personal brand. If you play your cards right, these new associates should prove valuable!

By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc.  She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award.   Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.