Before you hit send on that job application, stop for a moment. If your prospective new boss googles you, what will they find? If they met you on the street, what would they think?

Will summer’s party photos on Facebook or the way you present yourself work in your favour, or against you?

According to Julie Jacobs, Operations Manager for High Impact Programs at the Beacon Foundation, building a strong, positive personal brand will help your career, assist you to make valuable connections and improve your reputation with colleagues and clients.

Here are Julie's tips for creating a strong personal brand:

1. Step outside your comfort zone. 

To start creating your own personal brand, you need to be able to think about yourself and your goals from new angles. What do you want your own personal brand to look like? What do you want to achieve with it? 

2. Make a good first impression. 

How often do you meet someone and remember only one key thing about them – their smile, handshake or outfit? With a little effort in how you behave and what you wear, you can make your first impression a great one.

3. Be a good communicator

The first step here is being a good listener. If you show genuine interest in people they’ll often be more interested in you. You can show your interest by asking questions of others that allow you to connect with them on a personal level.

4. Be curious. 

Listen actively to others and look for areas of interest. Did you meet someone who had a cool job? Ask them about it and dig a little deeper into why it interests you. This will help you build a network of connections you can draw on.

5. Be aware of your online activity on social media

Always act with integrity and stick to your core values as potential employers are often able to view your Facebook page and other social media sites. You can broaden your online profile by engaging in online conversations relevant to your expertise or interest, or writing blogs and articles.

You can learn all these skills and more with the Beacon Foundation’s High Impact Programs. For more information on Beacon’s Work Readiness Series, contact