The Hub What’s in a personal brand?

What’s in a personal brand?

By: Nikki Pawlitschek, academic counsellor

Are you wondering what all the hype is about having your own ‘personal brand’ and why is it so important?

This November for Canada Career Month (and Global Careers Month) with its theme “Amplify,” Athabasca University’s Counselling Services team is sharing some valuable information and resources to help you to amplify your skills and connections, and land that dream job!

What’s your personal brand?

When people hear your name, do they immediately think of certain qualities that you possess? Do colleagues, friends, and family know what to expect from you? Does your reputation extend beyond those who know you personally? If so, what do they think of you?

These are just a handful of questions that come to mind when thinking about your personal brand.

A smiling person sitting at a desk with a laptop

What goes into a personal brand?

A personal brand is how you see yourself and want others to see you. It’s what makes you unique and it’s a way to show off your talents and skills. A personal brand lets others know what you have to offer which sets you apart from the rest of the world.

For example, the hypothetical Sonya’s personal brand includes her passion for counselling, her desire to become an innovator in her field, and all the work that she’s done to make that happen, including her supporting her colleagues and friends to become the best that they can be.

According to Laurie Kellough, an Edmonton based brand strategist who contributed to the free Elevate Your Personal Brand course at PowerED™ by Athabasca University, “a personal brand is a promise that you make to the world about who you are and the positive impact that you seek to have in the lives of others.”

“A personal brand is how you see yourself and want others to see you. It’s what makes you unique and it’s a way to show off your talents and skills.”

– Nikki Pawlitschek, academic counsellor

4 reasons to have a personal brand

  1. It tells people what you have to offer and what you seek to accomplish.
  2. It distinguishes you from others, setting you apart from competitors.
  3. It lays a foundation in which to build your professional reputation and relationships.
  4. It pushes you to be intentional in your career development and choices.

3 steps to creating a personal brand

  1. Define your values: To make sure that you have a satisfying career and meaningful life you must be able to identify and pursue what is important to you.
  2. Craft your story: Before you can communicate who you are and what you offer, you must first be able to name your unique strengths and values.
  3. Share it: To get your story out there, you must share it through a variety of channels and social media platforms.

To learn more about personal branding, check out the free Elevate Your Personal Brand course, which is offered at PowerED™ by Athabasca University.

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Watch for more helpful career-development advice throughout the month of November for Canada Career Month and Global Careers Month:

If you would like more information about career planning, please contact Counselling Services at

Nikki Pawlitschek is an academic counsellor at AU. She has a master’s in mental health counselling from City University, a bachelor’s in liberal arts from the University of British Columbia, a bachelor’s in psychology from Open University, a certificate in modern languages (English, French, German), a diploma in brief systemic family therapy, and a certificate of counselling science. Most recently, she completed a two-year training program in Hakomi professional skills. Her passion is helping individuals find out what they truly want to do and to explore all the various options. She strongly believes that nothing is impossible and that with the right planning and support, everyone can achieve their goals.

  • November 21, 2022
Guest Blog from:
Nikki Pawlitschek, academic counsellor