Honesty is the most essential ingredient when it comes to creating your personal brand. In fact, it’s highly unlikely you will find long-term success if your brand is anything less than honest.
In the light of recent long-term dishonesty displayed in Lance Armstrong doping scandal, individuals everywhere should be quickly assessing the overall integrity and honesty in their personal brands. While this scandal has made us aware of what the dishonesty of a personal brand looks like, it’s much harder to ascertain the measures to build a brand injected with honesty.
Honesty is the best policy in every scenario–especially one regarding the long-term success of your career. It’s time to get to the bottom of what it really takes to develop a brand bursting with a fairness and straightforwardness of conduct.
Build A Foundation
Obtaining an honest personal brand doesn’t happen overnight. Your ability to consistently adhere to the facts must be at the core of everything you do. Establishing an honest brand for the long haul means assessing your values, interests, and career goals to build a foundation of honesty.
You can certainly include many other elements to build a strong foundation for your personal brand–integrity, hard work, creativity–to give it depth and character. But without honesty, your brand cannot function. These are the key characteristics you will use to fuel everything you do, and hopefully will come to be defining factors in what you are known for.
Keep It Real
Whether in your day-to-day work or your personal interactions, your honest brand nature should be apparent. Don’t go overboard, just keep it real. Continually strive to reach new levels of adherence to your brand platform of honesty by showcasing this value in all you do.
Sometimes the hardest part of maintaining an honest brand comes down to staying true to yourself. When it comes to your skill sets, goals, or satisfaction, drive your brand forward and stay honest with yourself. If there’s something you’d wish to learn or a career move you would like to make–do so. Then make a point to address it directly in your interactions on social platforms, blog, or when you’re networking.
Consistency Is Key
While the majority of “dos and don’ts” should have to go without being said, overall brand honesty have many places. It’s showcased in face-to-face interactions, on paper at your job or on your resume, and in your online profiles and blog. Those who lack consistency throughout their personal brand may appear to be dishonest.
For many, this isn’t something they’re even aware they’re doing. To ensure consistency throughout your personal brand, evaluate all of the information you have made available to others. Does it align well? If not, it may be time to re-brand yourself by scrapping what you have and starting fresh. The risk of dishonesty isn’t something you should leave open.
No brand can function without a level of accountability. We often hear horror stories of both personal and corporate brands who continually fail to account for their actions. Experiencing a lack of accountability with a trusted brand can turn away a devout follower on impact.
Continued accountability throughout your career will allow you to immediately come to your own rescue in times when your brand is in jeopardy. Once again, Lance Armstrong is an unfortunate example of someone who failed to remain accountable for the actions they made which negatively impacted their personal brand. Armstrong waited until it was far too late to explain his wrongdoing–consequently losing all he’d worked to gain. Mistakes happen, but it’s your job to ensure accountability for your personal brand.
Honesty is everything when it comes to your personal brand. If this isn’t currently a value you’re working to directly showcase–the time has come to put it ahead of the rest.
How has your value of honesty positively affected your personal brand?
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.