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Updated October 7th, 2022

Personal Branding

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You are a brand. You are a product. You will market yourself as such. You have a set of qualities and skills, technical and personal, that will meet an employer's needs. You will provide utility to someone else or their company/organization, just as a product provides utility to a consumer. You will be competing with other job seekers; the same way products compete on the supermarket shelf. So, you need branding.

Here are some steps to consider when branding:

  • Be focused: Branding is about choosing a lane and sticking to it consistently. You need to know what you can offer, professionally, and emphasize that repeatedly. You definitely cannot be everything to everyone so know your abilities and pursuing them will ensure you stay in your niche and are able to deliver high quality outcomes.
  • Be honest: Like in advertising, you have to be able to deliver what you promise to deliver. If you find a task that you are not good at but you would like to be a part of, it is good to indicate that you will need some time to learn the details to be able to execute the task.
  • Make yourself into a story: You have to be able to make connections in your life and professional expertise that tells a story about who you are. The parts of your life and training that make you good at what you do. People love to hear stories and being able to build one will help you get the attention of clients and eployers. For example, when did you realise you had interest in ... say... robots. this way you can then explain how your choice of college diploma, courses and other hobbies relate to this underlying passion you have in robots.

  • Be consistent: Employers and clients like to know what they can expect from you, they like predictability. So in addition to establishing your focus, you need to deliver that focus in a predictable way.
  • Pursue Excellence: Regardless of the focus you choose, you must aim to deliver high quality outcomes. The floor cleaner may seem to of less impact to the team but if they clean the floor in an extraordinary way, they begin to stand out and everyone in the organization begins to feel the benefits of a squeaky clean floor. The same applies to higher positions as well, a manager who does a mediocre job will not receive much admiration from the team members.
  • Identify a role model: We used the driving lane symbolism earlier, and you will appreciate the benefits of having a car driving ahead of you that you can follow. A role model is like a user manual with instructions for when to do certain things. It helps you stay in check, challenged and serviced.
  • Live according to the brand you create: A brand is an image about you, it infiltrates all aspects of your life, not only your career/profession. Especially in this age of social media where clients and employers can access information about you from several platforms, it is beneficial to maintain your story and legacy across all aspects of your life.
  • Share your legacy: There are many ways you can share your legacy. For example, a person who is generous and kind at work may also be involved in community activities that support other people to grow. these activities may be reflected in your social media etc. It is important to put some effort in suporting other people to achieve success.
  • Failure is not the end: This message has been emphasized by several people that failure doesnt mean the end of your goals. It might sometimes mean you need to change lanes, change course, maybe even change your overall destination, but it definitely doesnt mean you stop .

Personalized Letterhead

A personalized letterhead is one of the ways to showcase your brand. You will use this letterhead on all the documents you provide in an application for a job, or even applications to graduate school.

There are several templates available online or embedded within word processing software. Some of the key aspects you should consider include:


You may not have much room to play around with colors within the resume/CV or cover letter, but you can play around with colors on the letter head, in a way that will change the appearance of the whole document. The color you choose should not compromise the readability of the letterhead, so a good contrast is necessary. Note too that the color you choose will depend on the profession you are applying into. Black and white might work well for professions that do not put much priority on appearances, such as professors, bankers. On the other hand, if you are applying for job in beauty, modeling, web development, photography, or the creative industry in general, then great colors will be beneficial.

Color draws the eyes and can be used to attract the employer to specific parts of your letterhead (or resume/CV/cover letter in general). Color creates bias on the letterhead, it expresses that some words are more important than others, which is usually the case, but should be handled carefully knowing that words that do not have the same color advantage may not be given the same importance by the employer.

The colors you choose must communicate the traits you wish to express to the employer, such as confidence and responsibility (Blue), trust, happiness, calmness (Yellow), creativity (Orange or purple), health and nutrition (Orange or green). We discourage the use of green, except in very limited situations, such as careers related to the environment and sustainability, a softer green may be recommended. In most other circumstances, green represents naivety and a lack or experience. We also discourage the use of black backgrounds, black expresses power, but is also too aggressive. Red may be used in very specific circumstances where extraordinary levels of bold beauty, passion and importance are necessary. In most other circumstances, red expresses instability, volatility, and danger.


Your name should be on a larger font than the text that follows. The font should be spaced out in a way that makes it very easy to read. Serif fonts are traditional while sans serif creates a more modern look and easier to read when printed small.


You are free to stretch the limits on the layout of your letterhead. For example, your letter head could be laid out as a column on the left side of the resume (or CV or cover letter), or it could be at the top as a header. Ensure that the letterhead is not too dominating on the document, remember the content of the document is still the more important aspect, the letter head plays the curb appeal role more.

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