How to level up your personal brand in 5 easy steps

So, you’re looking for a new role… But you’ve reached the conclusion that job-hunting *sucks*. We know – we get it. Hours spent manically searching for variations on a job title, filling out unnecessarily long application forms, and fruitlessly hitting the LinkedIn ‘Apply’ button… But no dice (maybe not even a response). 

What if you’re going about it all wrong? For example, did you know 70-80% jobs are never published? Instead, recruiters and hiring managers are silently trawling LinkedIn, head-hunting talent. Which means: you need to make them notice you.

While you might not be able to control what jobs are advertised, who's hiring, or who'll reply to your emails, one thing you can fully *own* (said with maximum sass) is Brand YOU. So have a break from that application, listen to Little Mix, then read on to find out how to take back the power.

  1. Do your research

Dedicate some proper time to uncovering and following the brands you love on Linkedin and Instagram – the type of businesses you actually like being served ads by, whose newsletters you don’t immediately trash; places where you’ve always thought it’d be a joy to work.

Notice the tone of voice they use, the colour schemes that make their content pop, the smart ways they engage with customers, employees, and anyone else. This is inspiration for your own brand.

  1. Think about what you like

Work out why you like those brands… Is it their product? Their ethics? Their company culture? What is it that makes them stand out from the rest? Make a note of the key content pillars you want to highlight when you’re creating content online.

Whatever industry you’re in right now (here at Lightning, we’re not alone in our dedication to travel and hospitality), remember you don’t have to stick to it. Widen your search and see what, if any, cross-industry brands appeal to you, too – it might teach you a lot about what you’re looking for.

  1. Makeover your CV and LinkedIn

Now you know who you're trying to attract and why, here comes the fun part… Like all the greats have done before – think Sandy in Grease, Andy in The Devil Wears Prada, and Laney in She's All That (if you know, you know) – it’s time to change your (online) image. 

Armed with your notes about the image and ethos you want to project, consider how to make your writing sound like Brand YOU. What interesting or relevant experience, skills, or quirks might stand out to the brands you like? How do you talk – what tone and language do you use? 

Don’t be afraid to break the mould (recruiters do not need to yawn over another homogenous CV, trust us). And remember to enhance, not hide, what makes you, you.

  1. Get creative on Canva

Next, head on over to Canva and let your creativity flow. Decide on your Brand YOU fonts, colours, and photography style, then inject those visuals at every opportunity you get. We’re talking about your CV, LinkedIn banner image, profile pic, cover letters… 

Just make sure you’re not prioritising style over substance: think carefully about how to align yourself with and appeal to the businesses you admire.

  1. Be vocal, be present, be seen

Now it’s time to take your brand to market. Start engaging with the brands you want to notice you: comment on their LinkedIn statuses and Instagram posts, connect with team members and share relevant articles to your LinkedIn feed. Heck, you could even write a blog or start a video diary. 

Whatever you do, make sure it’s in keeping with all the fundamentals of your personal rebrand, and always with your target audience in mind.


Want to talk through your personal branding and next steps with someone who isn’t your cat? Well, huns, that’s why we invented Lightning Lounge – clickety click to book your free consultation with one of our expert team.

In the meantime, listen to our personal branding guru and Lightning founder Chris (they/she) give y'all a lesson in how, if you know your brand, you don't have to do a hard sell and can speak authentically:

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Thea Bardot

12th May

Career Advice Blog