You don’t have a lot of advantages in the job market when you graduate from college, and a personal brand can become one of the best in your arsenal—but what is it, exactly, and how do you go about building a personal brand once you’ve figured it out?
That’s what these personal branding quotes are here to answer. Listen to this advice from people that have achieved success in a spectrum of ways, and you’ll realize that you can build your personal brand
Defining personal branding
Most people will tell you that your personal brand is letting people know that you’re a hard worker. That was probably helpful in your first minimum-wage job, but it’s much more complex and interesting in more specialized fields. Failing to understand why personal branding is important could prevent hiring managers from understanding who you are and how you’d fit with their teams—and that is definitely something they’re observing, according to a study from CareerBuilder.
With that in mind, listen to what these professionals have to say about personal branding.
“Personal branding is all about building rapport at scale and rapport is one of the most fundamental sales techniques. Whether you call it personal branding or charisma, It’s a very powerful tool that veteran salespeople naturally employ to close more deals with less effort.”
– Mark Roberge, advisor to Hubspot
“The people who succeed are irrationally passionate about something.”@naval
— Content Philosopher ☕ (@cophilosopher) July 17, 2021
“Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto.”
– Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek
Finding your unique value proposition
Finding your unique value (or “unique selling proposition”) is a big part of developing your professional identity (and it can evolve with you, of course). Don’t worry if you’re an English or Anthropology major—there’s a way to frame yourself professionally.
You’re going to distill this into one or two sentences when you write a personal brand statement for your LinkedIn profile, too. It really pays to think about this!
“If you try to resonate with everyone, you will resonate with no one.” – John Lee Dumas, podcaster, Entrepreneurs on Fire
“Hey students – just because you study STEM doesn’t make you better than your peers studying other things.
You’re just different.
Marketing majors probably understand people better than you do. English majors are probably better at communicating than you are. Social scientists can probably construct an argument better than you can.
And so on.
Writing code and being technical is cool, but so are the other skills I just mentioned. So don’t be arrogant. Everyone has something to offer, not just technical people.”
– Jonathan Tesser
“Skills like effective confrontation, empathy, and patience are not soft skills. They are human skills, and they must be learned. Organizations often overlook their best internal leaders because they don’t place enough value on these crucial interpersonal qualities. As a result, company leadership suffers.”
– Simon Sinek
Since this is a really important part of your personal brand that contributes to employers’ first impressions of you online, it’s worth thinking about specific and powerful personal brand words to add to your profiles. Verbs and power words go a long way without taking up much digital real estate.
Networking and applying to jobs
Networking is crucial to your long-term career success, but most people feel gross while doing it. Use these personal branding quotes to figure out how you can make that work with your personal style.
Frankly, I wish I’d known this when I started my career.
“Job seekers who consistently win offers:
- Pick a small set of companies they love
- Research the heck out of each one
- Connect with potential referrals every day
- Find better ways to show their value (decks, videos, projects, portfolios, content creation)
Nobody is forcing you to job search a certain way. If the process is “broken,” don’t complain about it. Stop using it. Develop a new one. One that works for you.
You create the opportunities you deserve.”
– Austin Belcak
He’s right on the money. Referrals represent the leading source of quality hires, and networking represents the second-best source.
“It’s OK to feel lost in your career.
When I was in college, I thought to myself: 2 years in McKinsey & Company, 2 years at Harvard Business School and THEN go into Google (land your dream job here: https://lnkd.in/g2VZrAF)
Little did I know, it would be Google -> Lucid and now Wonsulting. Who knows what the next 3 years (let alone 1 year) will look like.”
– Jerry Lee
“Most students are first-time job seekers at some point. Here’s what I see most of them doing to find a job vs. what I wish they did to find a job. See if you agree 👇
- Do nothing until the “job fairs” start at their school
- Make a resume, spend way too much time on the formatting
- Stand in line at job fairs, talk to top companies
- Wait to hear from a recruiter, get rejected or ghosted
- Blame their GPA and/or resume
I know this is what they do because I did it when I was a student… Here’s what I wish new job seekers would do instead:
- Connect with people across industry willing to help out
- Develop relationships with key individuals, build advocates
- Demonstrate your ability to create and add value
- Use industry advocates to identify job opportunities
- Tweak a resume to target a specific audience
- Apply to jobs openings you’re referred to”
– Adam Broda
If you’re still unsure about how to strategize and execute on professional networking like that, then it might be worth speaking with a personal branding consultant—but dip your feet in the water and try this first.
Social media and brand personality quotes
Using social media to amplify yourself isn’t the only aspect of personal branding—not by a long shot—but it is a useful tool to put your message in front of more people. This increases the odds of being viewed and contacted by hiring managers who like your style.
Check out what these professionals have to say. You can also check out some of them on this list of personal branding examples to see how they put these ideas into practice.
While building your personal brand, the dilemma is always where to start from.
Start where your audience is:
Find out where your audience is and start right there.
— Nidhi Kala (@NidhiKala_) July 15, 2021
“I have under 1,000 connections.
But my posts regularly command high interaction with my audience. (Just go take a look at my feed). So what is my strategy?It’s pretty simple.
- I post everyday…
- I write my ideas down…
- I seek out valuable connections…
- Core group: There are connections that I can trust to add value to my posts and I try to reciprocate…
- Authenticity: People are tired of seeing other people “fake it till they make it”…
- Open door policy: Absolutely anybody can message me and I will do my best to help with whatever I can.”
– Sam Swirsky
“LinkedIn is tracking how you’re interacting with the platform and rewards the users who do it ‘best.’
Here are 3 things that push you to the tops of newsfeeds and searches:
🍊LinkedIn tracks how often you like, comment, and share posts. They feature more active people on their newsfeed and searches.
🍊LinkedIn tracks how often you respond to Inmail messages. If you respond frequently, they push your profile up higher for more people to see.
🍊LinkedIn tracks how many endorsements you have for a skill. The more you have, the higher you rank for a keyword. If you have 0 endorsements, it’s practically like the skill doesn’t exist.
➡️It’s all about creating the best possible experience for users. LinkedIn wants active users to be able to easily find other active users so that everyone has a good time.”
– Madeline Mann
Classic personal branding quotes from the old guard
Last but not least, these personal branding quotes are from professionals of decades past. Not all of them are around anymore but they contain nuggets of wisdom that have withstood the test of time.
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
“Your direction is more important than your speed.” – Richard L. Evans
“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.” – Zig Ziglar
“Your brand is your public identity, what you’re trusted for. And for your brand to endure, it has to be tested, redefined, managed, and expanded as markets evolve. Brands either learn or disappear.”
– Lisa Gansky
“Thought leadership happens when you’re willing to have your brand stand for more than what you sell.” – Seth Price
“Loyalty is not won by being first. It is won by being the best.” – Stefan Persson
I hope you found these insightful. Wrapping your head around personal branding is a hurdle at first, but once you start to figure it out you’ll see how it all fits together—your industry, your skills, your personality, and the things that make you get out of bed in the morning.
If you haven’t checked out these personal branding examples already then I highly recommend that you do. These are real people with 9-5 jobs who make their personal brand one of their biggest professional assets. You can do it, too—never doubt it.
Happy hunting, job seekers!