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Portfolio Update and Personal Brand

Telling Your Story Review​

In this lesson, we'll establish what a personal brand is and how to create yours. You've already drafted and started refining your narrative. That summary includes your background, transferable skills, and transition to the tech industry. This professional summary is a great jumping-off point for exploring personal brands.

To refresh your memory, revisit your Telling Your Story document and the lesson here.

Personal Brand Introduction​

Personal Brand and Professional Personality​

Personal brand and professional identity are like squares and rectangles–related, but not interchangeable. Both concepts are important for building your reputation in tech. Let's dig deeper into how the two relate.

  • Personal Brand. A personal brand is how you present yourself to the world. Think of your personal brand as the professional image you curate online, in print, and in person. Build a unique and genuine image that communicates your value as a junior developer. Consider your values, expertise, and passions as you craft your brand. This is a chance to highlight your skills while bringing in your unique personality.

Personal brand is a broader concept than professional personality.

  • Professional Identity. Your professional identity is how you act and behave in a professional setting. This can include how you communicate, work, lead, solve problems, and handle challenges. For previous generations, professional personality was almost always conveyed in person. For modern developers, professional identity extends far beyond physical interactions. Consider how you act on LinkedIn, in online meetings, and at virtual meetups. In a hybrid workforce, those matter to your professional image.

Next we'll explore how to start creating your personal brand.

Crafting Your Personal Brand​

  • Identify your strengths. Understand your skills, passions, values, and what sets you apart. How can you pull those through in different aspects of your portfolio?
  • Define your purpose. Determine your mission, what you want to achieve, and the impact you want to make. This is the part of your "About" or "Summary" section on various platforms that looks toward the future.
  • Be consistent. To build your personal brand online, your message and visuals need to be consistent. This means your "About" or "Summary" sections on LinkedIn, your resume, etc. should have the same tone. Your portfolio needs to incorporate the same general theme throughout the site.
  • Continue learning. Stay updated on industry trends, new tools, and emerging technologies. Some resources to consider are Udemy, Codecademy, Mimo, and LinkedIn Learning. You can boost your experience by adding new soft skills to your technical skills. You can learn about anything from leadership to organization. Whatever you learn, keep your resume up-to-date with your experiences and skills.
  • Build relationships. Connect with peers, influencers, and potential clients or employers. There's no excuse to ignore this part of crafting your brand. You can build relationships through events, social media, or one-on-one meetings. If those options feel out of reach, to begin with, start networking with your peers first and then branch out.
  • Get involved in events. Attend meetups, conferences, and webinars. At those events, engage in conversations and share your experiences–don't be a bystander. These opportunities to interact allow you to widen your connections in tech.
  • Take advantage of social media. Choose platforms that align with your goals and audience. LinkedIn is a great place to start if you're unsure. Interact with others and always maintain a professional tone. Share high-quality, relevant content that showcases your expertise, insights, and personality.
  • Seek out casual connections. Even on a one-to-one scale, building relationships contributes to your personal brand. Informational interviews, whether virtual or in-person, can help you start building a reputation. Small group gatherings can be less intimidating and help you make an impression. If this feels too overwhelming, start by practicing with your peers.
  • Be patient. Building a personal brand takes time. Don't expect instant results and focus on the long-term benefits. You can update and adapt your personal brand while you grow as a developer.

Updating Your Portfolio​

Now that you know about personal brands and crafting one, it's time to put that into action.

Remember the purpose and strengths you identified as part of your brand. Incorporate those into your portfolio through your introduction. You could also choose to add a page with skills or extra details that relate to your personal brand. Select a variety of projects that align with your personal brand. Be sure that you're consistent in portraying the image you want to curate. You can create a compelling narrative both through your content and design.

If you need to revisit the components to review and update, check out the lesson here.