Meg Frantz By Meg Frantz • June 5, 2020

How to Create a Personal and Professional Brand During COVID-19

During these challenging times of COVID-19, change is inevitable. But it allows us to pause and take stock of our professional lives. It provides us with time to consider what we want the future to hold.

And even though these times have been complicated and unsettled, now is an opportunity to make a fresh start or to tweak career prospects. Take a step back, look in the mirror and think about what you can offer. What makes you, well, you? What makes you the person that businesses want to hire, civic organizations ask for assistance or individuals look to for friendship?

Having a professional framework of who you are and what you believe helps show others you are someone they can trust. And trust can make all the difference in today’s economic landscape.

This exercise is especially helpful if you are making a career or job change. Searching for employment can be a stressful activity, but by knowing what you have to offer and how you appear to others will offer a strong foundation for change.

Here are some tips and questions to ask yourself about creating and managing your personal and professional brand.

1. How do you want others to see you?

Are you looking to be a subject matter expert about a certain topic? Do you want to be a person on which others can rely? What is your favorite personality trait  with which you would like others to connect? Take the time to dig into a topic that you already have knowledge about and explore ways to learn even more. Consider another degree or a certificate, or join a group of like-minded individuals to expand your knowledge.

2. What are your educational credits?

To get where you want to go, do you need more education from an accredited institution? Will a certificate do what you need it to do? Review your resume and pretend you are the hiring manager for your dream job. What else do you need to do to make that goal a reality? Be sure to have a comprehensive list of your education credits to showcase.

3. Who are you outside of a professional setting?

Are you a contributing member of your community? Do you volunteer for a government commission or for a nonprofit board of directors, or volunteer at your local hospital/food bank/church? What passions does volunteering help you fulfill?

4. What are your professional talents?

Do you speak a second language? Are you an extrovert? Do you like to network? How can you use these talents to expand your circle of relationships for both professional and personal achievement? Resume reviewers are often looking for a unique trait that separates a resume from the pack.

5. How do you look?

Are you showcasing yourself the way you want to be seen? Consider who you want others to see. Choose your hair style, wardrobe and accessories with care and be sure to be true to yourself and who you see yourself as in the future. This also applies to what you put out in the world in your writing. Be sure your social media posts won’t haunt you in the years to come or that your letter to the editor of the local newspaper won’t be seen as divisive.

6. How are you evolving?

Creating who you are in an ongoing process. Something that worked for you 10 years ago may not be the correct fit now. Acknowledge the change and move forward with purpose. Be sure to embrace what you may consider to be your imperfections. No one is perfect, so stop beating yourself up.

Life isn’t a race, but this period of slowing down can offer an opportunity for each of us to take stock and commit to the things we love to do. It allows us to shift gears on things that aren’t as ideal in our lives. Only we can make the change for which we are hoping if we are persistent. Success comes from hard work and some good luck. And remember, you’ve got this. And we have your back.

Meg Frantz

Written by Meg Frantz

Meg Frantz is the director of Alumni Affairs, with a background in marketing for nonprofit art organizations and higher education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis on theatre arts from Susquehanna University and is currently pursuing her master's degree from TESU. Connect with her via email at mfrantz@tesu.edu.

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