When building a great personal brand, you should consider your purpose, what you’re trying to communicate, and who you’re trying to communicate with. To put it simply, your personal brand should be a more essentialized view of yourself. At the end of the day, you want to make it easy for others to understand and connect with you as an HR professional.
Countless social media and marketing companies on the web have posted about the important factors of a personal brand. Branding experts JW Dicks and Nick Nanton have a fairly solid take on the subject with their playbook on Keys to Personal Branding Success. Here are the elements they’ve pegged as personal branding essentials along with tips for HR pros on integrating these keys into their brand.
The credibility factor
While your personal brand should be simple, it should take advantage of all the resources at hand to build your credibility as a great HR manager. You’ve likely got a degree and a few designations under your belt, so keep these in mind and use them to enhance the credibility of your personal brand.
For example, you might want to think about the post secondary program you took part in or any classes that you’ve taken throughout your career. As an HR pro, you know very well that work experience is important. When building out your social media profiles, be sure to showcase your skills and experience in your bio to convey your industry authority.
All of this will help to position you as a credible expert in HR—someone that team members and management can trust and have confidence in.
The importance of visibility
It’s difficult to say what the most important aspect of an HR manager’s personal brand should be, but visibility is definitely up there. After all, if you don’t make a point to make your personal brand visible to others, a lot of your other efforts will be wasted. Be sure to spend time on a strategy for building your personal brand and getting it out there.
Getting active online is a great place to start. However, since HR managers see plenty of personal interaction, it’s also important to project your personal brand on a day-to-day basis with coworkers and at networking events. Find your audience and connect with those in it.
HR professionals are no strangers to staying consistent—they need to ensure that workplace policies are implemented fairly and in the same manner for all team members.
This same level of consistency needs to be upheld when building your personal brand. The easiest way to stay consistent is to keep your message clear and concise. Of course, your personality is complex, but it’s important to pick a few key elements that best represent who you are. For instance, if you consider yourself to be an expert in HR tech, you can build your personal brand around that. Alternatively, you might be an expert interviewer—perhaps you’re able to pinpoint the best people in a crowd after speaking with them for just a few minutes. If that sounds like you, then build your personal brand around being an expert at interviewing. Once you’ve established your brand, stay consistent.
Add a little personality
While your personal brand should be simple and professional, adding a little bit of your personal side can give your brand some added weight and depth. This is especially important for HR managers, as being approachable and relatable towards employees is an essential skill of the trade.
After all, if an employee has an HR related complaint or needs to ask for advice on how a specific policy should be followed, things will move much more smoothly if they feel comfortable around you.
At the end of the day, it’s best to use your own judgment regarding what to include. It’s most important to stay professional, but don’t be afraid to think about what might help you stand out from others in your field.
Define your audience
As with any brand, your personal brand needs a target audience. In order to define who this group of people is, consider your message and mediums for which you’ll spread your message.
For instance, if your message is that you’re an expert interviewer, perhaps your audience will be people interested in interviewing tips and tricks—both candidates and employers. Your mediums might be your blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Perhaps you want to offer consulting services for employers looking to hire great people or maybe you want to help candidates find their dream jobs by using your interviewing tips. Whatever your goals are, you’ll need to define your audience. Below are some questions you’ll need to answer in order to identify your audience:
Where does my audience live? (e.g. in the Greater Toronto Area)
What is my audience interested in? (e.g. tips and tricks for landing their dream job, resume templates, and practice interview questions)
Who is my audience mostly made up of? (e.g. male and female business professionals who are looking for a new job)
Want a personal brand that stands out? Download our ebook for even more tips! The HR Professional’s Guide to Building a Personal Brand