The Power of Personal Branding

Inspired by Personal Branding presentation at Jobcare by James Sweetman. See links at the end for more.


We are all familiar with the word ‘Brand’ – a name that stands for something in the mind of ‘others’.  When you hear names like Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, Ryanair or Guinness an idea or image automatically comes to mind. Successful brands are visible, memorable and consistent. 


So we know what a ‘Brand’ is, but what is ‘Personal Branding’?

In a nutshell, Personal Branding is the process of creating the image you want others to have of you when they think or speak about you.  It is the external manifestation of your internal identity.  Your brand is YOU and employers and customers are your target market.


So why is Personal Branding important for job seekers?

“We are all the CEO’s of our own companies – ME Inc. To be successful in today’s world, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU” – Tom Peters


Personal Branding Image 1


You may have heard of the ‘Branson Test’. When interviewing a potential employee, the employer asks themselves, “Would I like to share a long-haul flight with this person?” If the answer is yes you will probably get hired.  If the answer is no, you won’t.  It really is that simple!

We all know you never get a second chance to make a good first impression and, once an initial impression is formed, it is difficult to change it. When engaging with others or when seeking employment you always want to ensure that you are revealing the best version of YOU.



Think of your brand personality in terms of dials that can be adjusted – What can you do more of or less of to improve others’ perceptions of you? Know what is important to you, what you’re great at, your values and career aspirations.


What factors influence your personal brand and how do you improve it?

Anything that influences someone’s perception of you is a factor that impacts your personal brand.  That can range from your personal appearance to your online presence.


The bedrock of great Personal Branding is great SELF-AWARENESS – Review yourself objectively. Understand your impact on others and how you can improve their perceptions of you. Focus on being positive and on what you can do right now.  How do you engage with others? Are you a good listener?  Do you empathise? Are you reliable, resourceful and resilient? How do you make others feel? What are you good at?


Putting all this into practise in your jobsearch:


You say you get results – but are your results (achievements) detailed on your CV with facts and figures?


You claim to have great attention to detail – so what do you know about the company you are applying to or being interviewed for that other candidates won’t know?


You’re excellent at customer service – how do you interact with the receptionist, cleaner, switchboard staff – not just with the hiring manager?


So you’re a problem solver – have you considered what the potential employer’s problems might be and how you might use your initiative and past experience to help them resolve their current problems?


You’re great at sales and marketing – how do you market and sell yourself? Do you have credible examples of your sales or marketing success in the past?


You’re positive and persistent – but do you demonstrate this? How have you handled rejection in the past? Have you learned from it?






Your ‘Elevator Pitch’ is also a key component of your personal brand and presents you with a great opportunity to briefly tell someone who you are and what you do.  Can you open up engaging conversations by telling others intriguing stories that encapsulate what you do? Or do you just tell them your job title and ask for a job?  As they say in marketing ‘sell me the sizzle, not the steak’.



Your CV is also a key branding tool.  It provides you with an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and convince the hiring manager that you are worth meeting.

Seek opportunities to grow and expand your brand – Raise your profile, speak to as many people as possible, post blogs, connect and reach out to your network, offer your skills pro-bono.



Personal Branding is also a key component of any successful job interview

Your interview begins and ends when you enter and leave the employer’s building. So consider everything you do from the moment you arrive in the carpark to what you say to the receptionist when you arrive, before you even meet the hiring manager.

What do you want to be known for? What words would you like employees / interviewers to use when describing you after you leave?



Be AUTHENTHIC – Don’t try to be someone else.  ‘Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken’ – Oscar Wilde. Be honest and sincere while striving to be the best version of yourself.

One of the key questions any employer or interviewer wants to answer is ‘Can I work with YOU?  Are you a good cultural fit for my team and organisation? Do you have the ‘Likeability Factor?’



The greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short but in setting it too low and achieving our mark – Michelangelo.

Little girl dreaming





Jobcare’s mission is to help people get over any obstacles between themselves and appropriate work. We offer a range of services, courses and work programmes for unemployed people.  If you are seeking employment and would like to avail of our services or if you are an employer who would like to get involved in helping people get back to work, please contact us at:

(01) 677 3897, email us at, or go to

For further advice: – A great source of free e-books on a multitude of relevant topics e.g. ‘How to excel at interview’.

 Steve Jobs - Personal Branding