• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • Are You Making These 5 Personal Branding Mistakes?

    There are plenty of “must-dos” for personal branding — things like how Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook can help you land a job or grow your business when used correctly. But are you aware of the “don’ts” you might be doing?


    Not every platform is the right one for communicating your message. Sending inappropriate or unnecessary updates leaves your audience irritated. Choosing the appropriate platform includes following or “friending” the right audience in conjunction with your goals. Keep in mind your audience’s interests when you communicate with them.

    Using interactive communication for advertising

    The goal of social networking is not to advertise a product or service. In order to successfully use social media, be social! Reply to tweets, status updates, and discussions, and update your personal page frequently. Be personal and personable. Automated messages diminish the intended use of networking sites and should not be used.


    Personal and professional networking profiles should not be separate; therefore it is important to strike a consistent balance between the two. A personal brand is a full-time job, both online and in person – it should not be dropped once you land the job. Your brand should be consistent throughout all forms of communication, so checking them often and linking them together can help with this goal. It’s typically against the networking sites’ terms of service (such as Facebook) for one person to maintain more than one profile – so consolidation is key.

    Being selfish

    Employers don’t only want to hear about what you want, they want to know how you can further their interests with your skills and experiences. How are you unique? What do you bring to the table? Why should you be hired? Highlight your achievements and success stories, connecting them to a common goal.


    Speaking negatively about current or former employers is a flashing red warning sign. Not only does it look bad to potential employers and tarnishes your reputation, but it always has the ability to get back to the person. Anything that you post online is essentially public and should be treated as such.

    What other personal branding mistakes would you add to this list?


    Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, an exclusive online community connecting the best internship and entry-level job candidates with the best employers. She is also the author of #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), national entry-level careers columnist for Examiner.com and blogs about career advice at HeatherHuhman.com.


    Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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    4 comments on “Are You Making These 5 Personal Branding Mistakes?
    1. avatar
      Marianna says:

      Its interesting that you mention the consistent social networks. I was recently tweeting from two different pages-one personal and the other professional. That was the biggest disaster, because it divides your following and then maintaining a consistent yet opposite tone for both pages was more work!!!!… not to mention Dr Jekyll & Ms Hyde-ish. Great post!

    2. avatar
      dandellion says:

      I can’t agree with “inconsistency” point. Yes, as Marianna said, it is more work, but there is a huge difference between professional and private life. Even Facebook that doesn’t allow double profiles, has pages for professional use and person profiles for private use.

      Also, people who follow (or friend, depending on the network) us for personal and professional reasons are not the same. And those two groups have different expectations from us. Mixing them in the same account would leave at least one of them dissatisfied.

    3. avatar

      Negativity is a BIG one. Put on your best face! 😀

    4. avatar
      Diane Potter says:

      I DO agree with the personal and professional mix of messages when branding yourself. You have to be the star of your own show. It’s fine to show yourself with your kids, or living your life- however, no one needs to know what you ate for dinner!

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    3. […] everyone at work started to friend me in the former. Heather Huhman puts it rather nicely in this blog post: Personal and professional networking profiles should not be separate; therefore it is important to […]

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