Your personal branding is the difference between success and failure

Marianne Bom & Rie Jerichow, Publicér

Glenn Jacobsen is administrative director in the consulting company Inspira. Furthermore, author, counsellor, coach, and educator within the fields of strategy, branding, and commercial and personal leadership.
Photo: Morten Jerichau.

Whether you know it or not, you have a personal brand that affects your options in jobs and careers. You are branding yourself in anything you say and do.

It can have an effect on your job if you are good at being – and showing – the best version of yourself. How do others see you? What do they think, feel, and say about you? What do they remember you for? You should not underestimate the value of this on your career life, says Glenn Jacobsen, counsellor, coach, and author of the book ‘Vil du det? Har du det? Så vis det! Din person som brand.’ (‘Do you want it? Do you have it? Then show it! Your persona as a brand.’)

“Already, from the way you enter a room, people form an opinion of you. Your brand is the way you seem to others. The imprint you leave. It is what head-hunters, your network, and others remember you for when you leave,” says Glenn Jacobsen. “It can be small things that make a difference when you have two candidates with the same qualifications in an interview. Who do you choose when the professionalism is equal? You choose personality or, broadly speaking, the candidate’s personal brand.”

To define yourself
Some people, especially younger ones, have a tendency to underestimate the value of personality in the job application and work life. “It is important to take responsibility for creating your own brand, because otherwise others will do it for you,” says Glenn Jacobsen. “It starts with defining yourself. That means being conscious about who you are. What values do you stand for? What kind of personality do you bring with you in your work? What ambitions do you have?” he says.

Personal brand on social media
Tips for polishing your personal brand on social media:

    • LinkedIn: An obvious place to have a public profile with a good picture, an opening text about what you want professionally, and a list of some of your qualifications.
    • Facebook: Your Facebook profile should not be public. Private forums should remain private. You lack professional authority if everyone can look into your private life. Remember that some pictures and pieces of infor­mation are still visible to everyone. They have to send the right signals.
    • Instagram: Check if your profile is ­public or private. If it is open, the ­contents should back up your ­professional profile.

Source: Glenn Jacobsen.

To stage yourself
The next phase is to stage yourself.
“That is about making the distinction between the person and the persona that you wish to show. What side of yourself do you want to show? To whom, and for what, do you wish to be known and preferably recognised? There has to be integrity and authenticity in it. The picture has to be truthful. I can be ambitious, but not so much that it becomes untrustworthy,” says Glenn Jacobsen.

To communicate yourself
Communication of your personal brand happens everywhere you have contact with others and in all aspects of work life: in the cafeteria, in a meeting, in your application, on social media. “Communication happens both on and offline, and verbally as well as non-verbally. It is now you prove that you are the person you pretend to be. It can be very subtle. Some of your attire may drag the attention away from your professionalism. If you are seen as sloppy and unkempt, it can ruin everything that comes out of your mouth. You have to be the best version of yourself in all aspects.”

But do not oversell it.
“You have to have a personal balance, and appear as a realistic person with both feet on the ground. It is not about whether you have to play a different role than who you are,” says Glenn Jacobsen.

To manage yourself
To manage yourself and be true to something that matters is pervasive throughout the entire concept of your personal brand.
“It takes personal management to take charge of your brand and keep sight of a long-term perspective. For instance, how to avoid being in a situation which is not good for the personal brand? It is about making conscious and brave decisions about what to do and what not to do, and that can be hard. But if I have a value that is about protecting the environment, should I then take a position in a company that does not protect the environment? If I care about human welfare, should I say no if I experience the opposite in the recruitment phase?” says Glenn Jacobsen, who encourages a balanced approach. “In the search to become something, we might forget to be someone. We chase dreams, money, advancement. But it is important to hold on to being a whole person who has a balance between work life and private life, and has time to be him- or herself.”