The latest installment of SMART Start: Ask An Alum focused on the importance of creating and maintaining a personal brand. David Eccles School of Business alumnae, Jennifer Black and Jennifer Hamelin, shared the steps toward creating a brand with undergraduates.

So, you ask, what is your personal brand? Think about how others see you. What is your professional and personal reputation? What are you passionate about? This is similar to an elevator pitch, but more concise. Simply put, you’re marketing yourself and what you have to offer. When you sit down to create your brand keep it to these three points:

  • Emotional Appeal: Think about how you make people feel, how people benefit from working with you, what you’re passionate about, and what your core values are.
  • Description: Focus on which words describe your work, and which industry or job you’re currently doing or trying to obtain.
  • Function: Think about which service you perform, what you have to offer, and what makes you stand out.

Remember that this brand will be evolving as you change careers and expand your interests. The most important part of your brand is to keep it authentic. Take the opportunity to show your personality, but be sure it matches your audience.

In addition to creating your brand, you need to constantly maintain it to ensure it accurately reflects where you are in your professional and personal life. A few good ways to ensure your personal brand is on target include:

  • Personal Reflection: Take the time to think about what your outward actions tell those around you. Do they match up with who you are?
  • Peer Reviews: Ask for feedback from friends, colleagues and managers to ensure you are staying true to your branding statement.
  • Social Media: In today’s society, almost everything you do can be checked and seen through social media sites. Is what you’re pinning or posting true to what you want to convey to those around you?

Just as quickly as you create your brand, you can destroy the work if you’re not careful. The easiest way to do this is to be dishonest. With the ability to fact check everythi