[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSLXUVO148M&w=560&h=315]DiceTV: Personal branding is a big buzzword these days. Every pundit says you should have a personal brand, but what’s that mean? The simple answer: "Your personal brand is how you're known in the marketplace and by your current manager for the work you do." I’m Cat Miller and this is Dice TV. We all have a personal brand whether we know it or not. Do you know your brand? It’s the current perception of your work by your manager, co-workers and other people in the business who know you. Are you a go-to person on the thorniest technical architecture issues? That’s a personal brand. Are you a slouch who only gets things done when hounded by your manager? That’s a personal brand. A "personal brand" is your conscious effort to define how you want to be perceived and not leave your reputation to chance. So, how do you build it? First you need to define the work you love to do. Maybe you do process work really well. Maybe other people consider what you do a supreme gift. Maybe it’s just easy for you. So that’s part of your brand. Once you can name what your strengths are, you can start doing things to help define your brand. State your brand as a "mantra". Make it a part of your resume and online profiles. One that I use for my role as anchor of DiceTV: "Every tech professional’s favorite video personality." One little sentence that defines your marketability. That is what you need to create, based on the strengths you bring to the job. Your behavior and results must match your personal brand. Your resume needs to show why your mantra is true. For instance, if you’re a project manager, what about your performance would help prove you’re "Every Manager’s Favorite Project Manager"? Well, maybe you discover problems early. You prevent small issues from becoming big ones. You stay on budget; you get results… Use stories that not only answer an interviewer’s questions, but demonstrate your brand through your strengths. If your strength as a programmer is clean code, use a story about how your team worked under a deadline and your programming skills produced the code with the fewest unit test errors and had the lowest loading time. That’s clean code showing results, and promoting your personal brand. When the words of your personal brand match the accomplishments on your resume and your percieved strengths, you'll be in position to grow a great career. I’m Cat Miller -- "Every tech professional’s favorite video personality" -- this has been Dice TV, and we now return you to your regular desktop.