Photo credit: Getty Images (Portra)

Your personal brand is just as important as your resume. Develop it wisely.

Article published by the American City Business Journals on July 5, 2022.

Developing a personal brand helps differentiate you from your peers when competing for your next job. I recently spoke to members of the Pennsylvania Career Development Association, which provides coaching to individuals in career transition. This is what I shared with them about the importance of a personal brand.

What is the process of personal branding? describes it as:

The conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a … [large] impact.

How do you build your personal brand? The following are common traits of someone with a strong personal brand:

  • Leads effectively
  • Achieves results
  • Embraces honesty and integrity
  • Has a positive, can-do attitude
  • Possesses common sense and good critical judgment

Photo credit: Getty Images (Portra)

There are less common traits of a personal brand that you want to be known for, and can differentiate you from the other individuals competing for that position:

  • Commits to giving customers or clients a great experience, to become the preferred provider to the marketplace
  • Helps employees develop a sense of ownership in what they do
  • Embraces continuous improvement, which builds competitiveness
  • Ability to relate to employees to help earn their trust
  • Commits to breaking paradigms to advance the ways of doing things
  • Unafraid to get out of their comfort zone
  • Is a recognized thought leader within their industry

If these apply to you, bring them up as well as other elements of your personal brand in your interview to show how you are different from others competing for the position. The search process will culminate with the question, “Why should I hire you?” Your personal brand will help answer that question.

A personal brand is developed from the day you start your career until you retire. Many of us are fully engaged after retirement, and therefore our personal brand continues to develop.

Unfortunately, many people don’t develop their personal brand and realize how valuable it is until they have left their job and start to look for a new one. At that point in time, their brand is what it is. 

As coaches to those in transition, I told the members of the PA Career Development Association their job was to tease out of their clients what makes them different—their management/leadership style, their values, and their unique characteristics—so they stand out as different during the interview process. I also told them to encourage their clients to proactively develop their brand for the rest of their careers.

An employer will perform due diligence on you, checking out the references you submitted as well as speaking with other individuals you may have worked with. You want those references to mention elements of your personal brand to confirm what you stated during your interview. 

Your personal brand is just as important as your resume. Develop it wisely.


Stan Silverman is founder and CEO of Silverman Leadership and author of “Be Different! The Key to Business and Career Success.” He is also a speaker, advisor and widely read nationally syndicated columnist on leadership, entrepreneurship and corporate governance. He can be reached at

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