A job seeker asked us about personal branding and how to leave a lasting impression:

I keep hearing about how important it is to “build your brand” these days. But every time I read about personal brands and the empires built around them, it’s usually in reference to Kim Kardashian – not quite the brand I’d like to emulate!! As a professional what does it mean to build a personal brand in a real world setting? Outside of creating my own website or blog, what real world activities make your brand?

We asked Co-Founder Danielle Bragge to share her top tips on personal branding. Danielle has built a very successful personal brand; in  2014 she was named one of the Top 100 Women in Business in Alberta, is a finalist for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Prairies and in 2013 was nominated for the RBC Women of Influence award. 

Personal branding is considered the new resume. Today people will judge you by your social media activity, your past accomplishments and your overall presentation. Here are ways to help create a lasting impression and take your career to new heights.

  1. Don’t burn bridges. It’s those impulsive, spur-of-the-moment decisions that will come back to haunt you. Never respond in anger. Sleep on any big decisions and talk them through with a trusted friend or advisor before acting. Canada is smaller than you think, and “what comes around goes around.”
  2. Invite 5 successful business people out of coffee. Ask them if they would be willing to share their journey with you. Make it about them! Ask lots of questions and don’t use it as an opportunity to pitch yourself. People will judge you by the questions you ask not by the answers you give.
  3. Social media can work for you or against you. Clean up your social media footprint. Be careful what you do or say online. Even a simple Facebook post that is inappropriate can hurt your professional brand. Use social media to your advantage. Share positive business articles, quotes and success stories; keep it thoughtful and refreshing.
  4. Be self-aware. Everyone has blind spots. Ask those close to you what areas need improvement and develop a plan to work on them.
  5. Take a course in business etiquette. This will give you the social skills and refining polish you need to take your business relationships to the next level. Etiquette courses can include anything from dining, navigating introductions, networking and solving difficult situations.
  6. Pay a professional to get a good head shot. You only get one chance to impress, do it right!
  7. Make an effort to remember small details about others. Send them a note or article from time to time relevant to the tidbits they shared with you. Show people that you are thinking about them. The next time you need expert help, you will have people to call.
  8. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Show others that you take yourself and your career seriously. Statistics show it takes less than 30 seconds of meeting someone to make a great first impression.


Danielle’s 25 years in the recruitment industry across South Africa and Canada has been the foundation and background for the success of The Headhunters. As partner and co-founder, she built the company from scratch in 2009. In addition to her strong leadership skills, Danielle is also an excellent Career Development coach, having trained and developed staff for over 20 years. Based in our Edmonton office, Danielle specializes in the recruitment of senior accounting and finance professionals.