Do You Need Your Own Brand to Get a Well-Paying Job?


A lot of people have offered much esoteric advice on how to find a well-paying job. Some of it is so arcane that it doesn’t make sense to the average guy or gal on the street. For instance, one of the hottest ideas in HR right now is the need to have a personal brand. Without one, your chances of landing a well-paying job are allegedly not so good.

What do you think? Do you need your own brand to get a well-paying job? Before you can answer that question, you need to know what a personal brand is. It is not completely dissimilar to a corporate brand. However, it’s not completely identical either.

Corporate vs. Personal Brand

In the corporate world, a brand is what sets a company apart from the competition. A company’s brand could rest in its social justice policies. It could rest in the quality of its products and services. A corporate brand could be comprised of any number of things that make the company distinct and unique.

A personal brand is similar in some ways. However, it is a lot less complicated. HR managers understand personal brand based on a quote attributed to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who allegedly said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

That’s easy enough to understand. Bezos was essentially saying that your brand is your reputation. That is pretty much it. If we apply that to finding a well-paying job, we open the door to multiple questions that don’t have good answers:

1. How do you establish a personal brand?

Perhaps you are searching the Pharma Diversity website ( looking for a biotech position. You are not familiar with any of the companies that have posted for biotech jobs. Likewise, they have no idea who you are. How do you go about crafting a personal brand that will get attention?

All the usual tips apply – customize your resume to each job, amplify the most important qualities you possess, include references, etc. But aren’t you doing that already? What is different about those things from a personal brand standpoint?

2. How do you convey your personal brand?

Let’s say you magically figure out how to employ all the standard job application techniques to successfully craft a personal brand. Now what? You somehow need to convey that brand to an HR manager who doesn’t know you from a hill of beans. How are you going to convey your reputation without sounding like you are tooting your own horn?

3. Do HR managers really care about personal brand?

This last question is a bit tricky. HR managers might say they are interested in personal brand because it’s the hot trend right now. But when push comes to shove, do they really mean it? More importantly, do they even understand it?

There are times when HR managers just want to fill a position with a warm body. They need to get a job filled so they can move on to other things. Most of the time though, they want the most qualified people for the job. They are looking for the right qualifications and experience. If that equates to personal brand, so be it.

Branding is a tricky proposition in the corporate arena. It is even more tricky in the personal arena. Some say that a strong personal brand is key to landing a well-paying job in the 21st century. This writer isn’t so sure. ‘Personal brand’ might just be another piece of jargon people toss around because it sounds good.

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