Career Advice | Personal Branding part 1 | How To Brand Yourself

Managing Your Career : Personal Branding Career Advice – Tips and Strategies

by Career Strategist and Workplace Trainer Tan Teck Kim

Recently many readers wrote to ask about what is the most important career advice I can give them in their career development.  From the perspective of a Trainer and A Career Coach, several key ideas come to mind which I have shared with several interviewees. Here are the excerpts of Tan Teck Kim’s interview with Glow Magazine, a leading lifestyle magazine in Singapore, produced in 2 parts.


career advice

1. What does self branding entail and why is it so important to do so in today’s modern economy?

First let’s agree on what constitutes Personal Branding, a much hyped subject in our modern and tech-savvy economy, which has intertwined closely personal and business networks.

Personal branding is basically the way one markets oneself to the world.  How one markets one’s beliefs, image, attitude, skills and behaviour in a coherent manner.  Our personal brand is the summation of all the associations people have of us in their minds.   In some ways it’s outside one’s control, but one obviously has some influence over it

People and the world are still forming impressions of us all the time and it’s in our interest to have a consistent branding strategy that drive these impressions.   If you speak to any career coach or counsellor and seek advice on career, it is very likely they would highlight the need to be consistent in your personal branding.

A positive branding is important because it could gain you advantages in your career and in relationships.     More on this point later.

IMPORTANT : If you don’t brand yourself, chances are someone is already doing that, and succeeding at it plus getting the chances and the deals which elude you.  Branding differentiates you from others because you become identifiable with certain beliefs, attributes or skills or images.

personal branding

Want to STAND OUT and STAND UP through branding?





2. To achieve success in life, marketing oneself is important. How does one go about starting to do so and what are the main things to note?

There are 2 parts to this :

A.  One’s Internal branding

B.  One’s External branding

 A.  Internal Branding :

How one perceives oneself is drives one’s internal brand.  To achieve your desired internal brand, start by asking yourself what 3 short sentences or adjectives would you use to describe yourself?  Take a moment to reflect on this question, and jot your answers down. Is this a brand you feel good about?  Does it really resonate with you?  Answering these questions is the best piece of career advice you have rendered yourself.

career advice

Differentiate yourself through Branding

B. External Branding

Be holistic and consistent in your branding strategy – consider your beliefs, your attitude, your image, your skills and your behaviour/job performance. If for eg you believe yourself to be trustworthy and reliable and want others to see you that way – reflect this in those things that represent you, and not just your job.  Don’t have for example, a personal email ID that says : or or a daily sloppy dressing to work.

Important : Your internal and external branding must be in sync. If they are in conflict, your external branding may not be sustainable.

To brand yourself externally, ask the following questions :

  1. 3 sentences that I would like myself/brand to perceived.
  2. 3 sentences on how others perceive me to be.
  3. What strategies do I need to close the gaps between (a) and (b).


This reflection process is an absolute necessity before you start.  How many times have you heard your boss saying that he’s smart but you totally disagree in your heart?  Or your assistant who wants a promotion but you think she should be fired for poor performance?  Your Personal Branding begins with uncovering the gaps between reality and desired perceptions.  In all my coaching workshops – this reflection process is one of the most powerful Career Counselling Tools to help my candidates to be honest with themselves. Your Personal Branding and Image starts and ends with you.


career adviceTo take this to the next level, find someone you can trust, and whose opinions you value, and share your self reflections with him/her.  Alternatively, if you wish to have a full fledged career advice discussion with Tan Teck Kim, please contact him here :

Look out for Part 2 of this interview on how to position your Personal Image, Confidence and enhance your Personal Branding


Understand what your employers are thinking :

Why Career Advice and Career Development is Key To Staff Retention

Career Advice Part 2 – Personal Branding, Confidence and Image

Career Advice Part 3 : How To Differentiate Your Personal Branding 

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