What’s in a Brand?

By Julie Primrose

As an intern and job-seeking college graduate, I know what it’s like to hear the phrase, “Tell me a little about yourself.”

When asked this question by professionals, I know that they are really inquiring about my personal brand.  I also know that it’s the most important question potential employers will ask during the short time I’m allotted to impress them.  The answer to this one seemingly innocent question sets the tone for everything else that is said after it.

Geoff Livingston’s newest blog post discusses the fact that only 15 percent of people believe it is essential to brand yourself.  I find it shocking that more people aren’t trying to have their side of the story heard by actively communicating their personal brand.

The majority of respondents to Livingston’s poll are ambivalent, saying they consider personal branding to lie somewhere between self-centered and egotistical and an essential business task.  I’m part of the minority who views it as an essential part of the current business environment.  Competition for jobs is fierce with unemployment figures remaining in the double digits throughout the state of Florida.  Clearly communicating your brand is essential to elevating your status beyond one résumé among a tall stack of papers.

We talked about branding while I was a student at the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication, but this is one lesson that I’ve learned much more post-graduation.  I’ve learned that how you present yourself is essential in determining the limits of your professional success.  Careful thought and consideration must be paid to how you portray yourself and communicate your personal and professional brand.

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