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9 steps to build your personal brand (and your career)

Rich Hein | May 23, 2013
Competition in the tech jobs industry is fierce, so how do you differentiate yourself from the pack? Whether you're a job seeker or just looking to grow professionally, creating an impressive and meaningful brand is the best place to start.

9. Keep your personal brand and your personal life separate
"Once you get a voice, you have to realize that your voice has power," says Rucker. This seems like a no-brainer, but individuals regularly cut their own proverbial throats via social media, and senior IT execs are no exception.

Make sure that you don't make statements that you could be penalized for later. For example, bad-mouthing a competitor can come back to haunt you. In a year's time you may find yourself looking for employment from that company. Rucker cautions that whatever you put out there, could potentially be what you're known for, so keep that in mind the next time you're posting beach photos to your Facebook account.

A Win-Win Situation
What it really comes down to is discovering what your brand is. "This is the most critical step. Everything else already exists--all the job boards, all the people around the world connected by technology. The one thing that doesn't exist that you need to solidify is how you want to position yourself," says Schawbel. This is what he refers to as your personal brand statement.

According to Schawbel, there should be a new implied contract between branded employees and employers that goes something like this: Employees should be able to work where and when they want and have some freedom. They should be able to build a personal brand and use social networks to their advantage as well as to support the company. In exchange for that employees need to be accountable for their work. They have to make sure they are delivering above and beyond on their work. Both parties have to win for it to work.


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