You may have heard of personal branding before, but do you know what it means in practice? Personal branding is an individual’s unique and consistent identity that helps them stand out from their peers and future employers. Creating a strong personal brand as a software engineer requires more than just listing your technical skills on your resume or CV. Instead, creating a great personal brand requires you to think about your passions, values, and exactly what makes you unique from other software engineers. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to build your personal brand as a software engineer with the help of a skill assessment, as well as give you some tips for making sure that all potential employers see is exactly what you want them to see whenever they look at your resume or CV.
What is a skill assessment? #
A skill assessment is a way to figure out which of your skills are best matched to your ideal profession. They’re usually in the form of a survey that asks you a number of questions about your strengths and weaknesses, and which fields you think you’d excel the most in. You can find online skill assessments for almost any profession, but it’s especially useful for engineers because it can give you a clear idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are, which will help you when it comes to creating a personal brand, as well as when you’re thinking about what type of engineering job would best suit you. We’d recommend doing a skill assessment before you start building your personal brand, so you can be sure it’s based on accurate information.
Why build your brand? #
Although it’s not something that you’ll write down on your resume, your personal brand is just as important as the technical skills listed there. Your personal brand is essentially the image that you want to project to future employers: what kind of person are you? What are your values and passions? Your personal brand is essentially a short description of who you are; it should be short and snappy, but it should also show off exactly who you are. For example, if one of your core passions is helping people, you can use that in your personal brand to show that you want to be an engineer who solves a problem for people. If you want to work in software engineering, you’ll probably want to make sure that your brand focuses on your technical skills, but you should also take the time to consider how you want to be seen by future employers.
Go beyond just your technical skills #
One of the most common mistakes engineers make when it comes to building their brand is only listing their technical skills. For example, listing something like “Proficient in using Java, Python, and C”. Although this is important, it doesn’t tell a future employer who you are; it just tells them what you’re skilled at. Instead, engineers should take the time to list their technical skills, but also their soft skills. Soft skills are the non-technical skills that engineers use every single day: things like teamwork, problem-solving, communication skills, and working under pressure. By taking the time to list your technical and soft skills, you’re not just listing your skills; you’re also showing future employers who you are as a person.
Step 1: Create your personal brand statement #
A personal brand statement is a short, snappy sentence that shows off exactly who you are and what you want to be known for. It’s essentially a summary of your personal brand, and it should be something that you’re proud of. You can use your personal brand statement to inform the rest of your engineering resume. Let’s take a look at an example to see how it works: If your passion is helping people, and you want to be an engineer who solves a problem for people, then you can create your brand statement to be: “I want to use engineering to help people solve their problems”. This statement can then be used to inform the rest of your resume, so whenever you list your skills and technical experiences, you can work in a sentence or two about how they help people. Your personal brand statement can be changed over time as you discover more about yourself and what you want to achieve, and it should be something that you’re proud of.
Step 2: Make a list of all your soft skills #
Soft skills are the non-technical skills that engineers use every single day: things like teamwork, problem-solving, communication skills, and working under pressure. By taking the time to list your soft skills, you’re not just listing your skills; you’re also showing future employers who you are as a person. Soft skills can be difficult to put into words, which is why it’s important to take the time to list them out. One way to think about your soft skills is to write down the problems that engineers face on the job every day and the ways that you solve them. For example, if engineers are often faced with a communication breakdown, and you’re good at communicating, then you have excellent communication skills. Another way to think about your soft skills is to think of the positive aspects of your personality that translate well into the work environment.
Make a list of all your hard skills #
Hard skills are the technical skills that engineers use every day, such as proficiency in using certain computer languages, using certain computer programs, or holding a certain type of engineering degree. While each engineer will have a different set of hard skills, it’s important to take the time to list them out and think about how they can be applied to a given engineering job or industry. For example, let’s say that your core skills are proficiency in C++ and Python, and you want to work as an engineer for a robotics company. You could apply your hard skills to a robotics engineering job by listing them on your resume, and then also make sure to mention that you want to work in robotics engineering. Your engineering resume will stand out from the rest if you take the time to list all your hard skills, as well as your soft skills.
Personal branding is an individual’s unique and consistent identity that helps them stand out from their peers. Creating a strong personal brand as a software engineer requires more than just listing your technical skills on your resume. Engineers should take the time to list their technical and soft skills, as well as their hard skills, so that future employers can see exactly what they want them to see. Now that you understand what a skill assessment is, why you should build a personal brand, and how to create a personal brand statement, make sure that future employers see exactly what you want them to see by taking the time to list all your skills, both technical and soft skills, and all your hard skills. Remember, creating a strong personal brand is just as important as the technical skills listed on your engineering resume, so take the time to make sure that your brand is the best it can be.