Why Personal Branding Is a Key Career Tool for Young Professionals 

by Morgan Cruz, Marketing Content Coordinator, MHI | @mhi_morgan

As a young professional your path to mid level career presents a tough climb. You have the challenge of landing a job with little experience and once employed, you may struggle to feel valued by superiors. When feeling the need for self-promotion, why not let your personal brand do the talking? In today’s world personal branding can be a very effective career tool and an essential means of professional development if managed correctly.

What is a personal brand? 

Your personal brand is a person’s gut feeling about you and your professional reputation. It is what your name stands for and what people in your professional circle associate with you. This brand is created based on certain characteristics such as an experience, messaging and tone, and color scheme or imagery. For example, what do you perceive when you think of Oprah? Is it different than the reputation of Madonna or Queen Elizabeth? Yes, because all of these women have a unique and authentic brand.

How do you create a personal brand?

To define your personal brand you must first know what you are passionate and knowledgeable about. Even if you are not yet an expert, your skills and professional development are part of your personal brand. Next determine what makes you different independent of your job title and company you work for. Ask yourself: What would my colleagues say about me? What do I do that offers distinctive value? What do I want to be known for? Once you have a good idea of who you are professionally you can start using this brand to achieve your career goals.

What is the value in creating a personal brand?

You may be at an entry level position at work but a super star on LinkedIn. Social media opens the door for thought leadership and allows your voice to be heard at all levels. Forbes defines thought leaders as the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. As a young professional you can become a thought leader by tweeting or blogging about what relates to your personal brand. Viewers/followers in your same niche will appreciate and learn from your journey of professional development. Whether you are looking for a job opening or wishing to advance at your current company, employers will gravitate towards your personal brand if its marketed with the right professionalism and authenticity.

Are you a young professional in the supply chain? MHI’s Young Professionals Network will be holding a networking event for those who are young or young at heart at the 2015 MHI Annual Conference. Find out more about this great opportunity to establish professional connections!