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After being in the Recruiting industry for just three short years, I have gained an abundance of experience and insight from current and neighboring employers, mentors, leaders, and even candidates themselves. The main thing I have taken to heart is the importance of your personal brand – You attract how you act.

Charleston, SC has recently established itself as an emerging tech hub with startup businesses and talent attraction soaring. Companies have placed an emphasis on employer branding and the “culture” they want to foster (I’ll get into the whole culture topic on another post) but it has become extremely apparent to me that it does not matter what you do, how successful you are, or what company you work for unless you have a strong personal brand.

Now, depending on who you are, your personal brand will differ from everyone else’s. They all carry different weight in regards to how you market yourself. It is perception vs reality. Whether you’re a student, candidate, employee, employer, or recruiter, your personal brand matters!

Here is why building a solid personal brand matters to you…

As a STUDENT, you are setting the foundation of who you are and what you want to do with your career once you graduate. One of the biggest aspects that comes into play while you’re building your personal brand into the start of your career is Social Media. Watch what you post! The internet is permanent and recruiters and employers will be looking you up. Trust me, I know these things.

As a CANDIDATE, you are constantly speaking with employers, leaders, and recruiters every day while you are searching for a job. Your personal brand can set you apart from the other candidates interviewing or even those being recommended for opportunities you may not know about. Focus on your personal brand and be the candidate on the top of everyone’s list!

As an EMPLOYEE, your personal brand not only is a representation of yourself but also the company you represent. Yeah, things start to get a little complicated here… the way you present yourself will not only be a representation of who you are (aka your BRAND) but as well as your company and the type of people they are attracting. Good or bad it will give an overall impression on the company as a whole. So, all in all, your personal brand has a larger impact than you think.

As an EMPLOYER, outside of skill set, don’t you want to hire those that are as like-minded and passionate about your company’s mission as you are? Well, in order to build a team/company with this mentality, these same values need to be expressed from you as the employer from initiation to acquisition.

As a RECRUITER, your personal brand is probably the single most important asset to being successful. Think about it: If you come off as cocky, conceited, or too good for those that don’t make the cut then your career as a recruiter could be ruined with one comment or LinkedIn post. In comparison, if you’re an open, honest, committed, and trustworthy recruiter then you will be sure to catch the best talent and create a marriage for your candidate and employer.

Personal branding is crucial no matter what part of the career cycle you’re engaged in and will ultimately assist in leading you to success. It is a reflection of who you are and is your key to becoming an unforgettable candidate and indispensable professional. Don’t forget, you will never get a second chance to make a first impression.

You attract how you act.

Have you started building your personal brand? What do you believe yours says to others? What are you doing to make it stronger? Let me know in the comments and we’ll keep the conversation going!