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Personalizing Your Personal Brand

Navigating Professionalism in the Age of Social Media

By Caroline Kawabe

Photo By Emma Almaraz

We’ve all had classes that throw around phrases like “personal brand” and “setting yourself up for success.” These sound self-explanatory, but what do they really mean in today’s world with the chaos of social media and online oversharing?

We’re living in a world where your online presence matters just as much as your resume—in fact, sometimes, a social media page can BE your resume or portfolio. Because of this growing overlap between professional media and personal social media, it can be difficult to navigate where to draw certain lines. We used to keep personal and professional lives very separate, but now, casual and relatable seem to be the new norm. We share memes one minute, and our career highlights the next. 

How do you balance standing out without making too much of a scene? Or be genuine and authentic while also staying professional and classy?

I think TikTok has changed the game the most in this sense. While Instagram remains largely curated, TikTok is known for content that is a bit more authentic, relatable, and funny.

Now, sharing your life’s personal, silly details on TikTok can work wonders if you’re one of the lucky ones going viral and having companies slide into your DMs with job offers. Alix Earle has built an incredible brand doing just this. However, on the other hand, if your TikTok isn’t exactly breaking the internet and you’re not raking in the cash, oversharing can feel like a risky move with no guaranteed payoff.

It’s hard! Where do I draw the line? Honestly, I think it’s just about what you’re comfortable with. We know that after you post something on the internet, it’s essentially on there forever, so just make sure you understand the potential risks and rewards before posting. It’s great to stay authentic online, but remember that while airing your entire laundry basket of drama might help you go viral, it also might not be the best move. Keep it classy by being mindful of what you share and how it aligns with you, your brand, and your goals.

Personal branding isn’t just about creating a picture-perfect life anymore. It’s about showing your journey and how you have become the person you are. People love authenticity. So, post that project you aced, share the story of how you overcame a challenge, and throw in a meme or two that sums up your week. Be you, unapologetically.

In this ever-evolving personal and professional world, being adaptable is key. The world is constantly changing, and so is how we present ourselves. Personal branding is not about fitting into a mold, but about showcasing your uniqueness in a way that gets noticed.

Be intentional, be authentic, and let the world see the work of art that is your personal brand.


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