How To Build Your Personal Brand As A Software Engineer & Get Hired ASAP

Rhuwell Samano
6 min readMar 28, 2019

Do you know what your personal brand is and how impactful it is in your career as a developer? In today’s world, having a personal brand is the next level up from the old school resume/cover letter combo. The end goal is the same: how can I make a memorable impact on companies so they feel like I’m the perfect candidate to have on their team? Don’t get me wrong, resumes and cover letters are still important. However, if you want to have a near-surgical, laser-focused effect in your job search, a personal brand is the way to do it.

Personal Branding is becoming a MUST when it comes to developers looking to get an edge in today’s world!

In this blog post, we’re going to go through the entire gamut and give you simple action steps you could take to develop and grow your personal brand as a developer!

Why do you need a personal brand?

Over the last couple of years, companies are increasingly hiring more developers. Plenty of new developers are entering the industry to meet those demands. There’s seemingly more jobs than developers right now. Being a developer has a pretty high average salary and there’s ALWAYS room for growth as new technologies are introduced and utilized in the workflows.

Employment of software developers is projected to grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

This is the equivalent of the California Gold Rush of the 1850’s! There’s a scramble to gain digital real estate and presence. The BEST part is — the internet is vast and unlimited. There’s space for EVERYONE to set up shop and have various platforms to share their value and showcase their expertise. It’s been said that “if you don’t exist on the internet, you don’t exist” and as harsh as that sounds — it’s true. We’ve entered a world where anyone can find out who you are and what you do with a simple search on Google. This is your chance at giving a handcrafted, fantastic first impression to new faces. And best of all, it’s virtually FREE TO DO.

How do you build your personal brand?

There are 4 Pillars that have a direct influence in developing your personal brand. The combination of these 4 Pillars will have the most bang-for-your-buck for the time you spend on them.

  • Creating valuable content
  • Engage in communities
  • Storytelling
  • Unique Skills/Experiences

All the above are used to highlight ONE THING about you that you want to stand out for — these are the pillars that hold up what will become your own personal brand as a developer.

Creating content has the highest impact on your branding.

You get to take all the knowledge/experiences that you have inside of you and produce a tangible piece of content that can be shared with others. Content has the ability to showcase expertise on topics, allow for your personality to shine through, gives you the opportunity to tell parables that can help make people relate to you more, and to solidify your place in the industry as an authority.

Engaging with the coding community is a great way to build relationships with other developers.

You can share your stories with others, hear other developers’ challenges and chime in when you feel like you can add value to their journey. You can also get together with other developers to collaborate on a project together!

Share emotionally impactful stories.

Every single human being on this planet has an emotional need to connect with others. When you tell stories, you paint a picture for others in their minds. This allows them to virtually feel what you felt. When they feel like they GET you and understand your pains/frustrations, often times relating to their own, you become someone who they can trust.

Combining your unique skills/experiences.

You are unique to this world. There is literally no one else who is you. Sure, you might have similar skills/experiences with others but no one has lived YOUR EXACT LIFE. This is where you utilize your JOURNEY through life and what you’ve faced and overcame and create a unique addition to your coding skillset and how you go about working with others to accomplish goals.

What is the one thing you want to be known for?

This part is often the hardest for people to figure out. Truth is, your brand is already in you. This part of the process is actually just asking yourself the following questions to hone in on what makes you, you.

  • What do you want people to say about you at your own funeral? Another way is to ask: What is the lasting impression you want to leave others?
  • What is your ideal way to work with people?
  • What is your natural approach when working with others and how does that impact the overall progression of the project/team/company?
  • If you asked others for 3 words to describe you, currently, what would they say?

Use these questions and answers, and many more insightful questions, to gauge more and more who you are. It’s a continuous process because you’re always growing and developing, so don’t question yourself! Make note of what’s past and present, and create a vision of your future self and work towards that!

Let’s dive deeper into it.

What are the things you could do to develop your personal brand?

Create content.

Don’t let the word intimidate you — it’s all the things you consume yourself daily: Audio, Video, and Written!

Start a Podcast. A YouTube Channel. An IGTV Series. A Medium account. A Blog. Be on Twitter. Etc.

Creating tangible pieces of content that lives on the internet builds authority and expertise in the field.

Most people get scared at the thought of being on a platform of any kind and sharing value with the world. The fear stems from either not feeling like you have anything worthwhile to share or that you’re afraid having another thing to add onto your overall workload!

Engage in communities.

Get involved in the conversation! There’s an unlimited amount of content out there where you can chime in and leave a memorable compliment or maybe meaningful insight or even a story of your own experience in regards to the piece of content.

Engaging with others bridges new connections with others who are on the same journey as you. It opens up doors to new opportunities.

Storytelling.

Telling stories is your way of putting on a VR helmet onto others as you take them through the Hero’s Journey of being met with challenges and overcoming (or even failing!) when trying to tackle them.

When you build enough authority/expertise through content, and grow your connections with others, soon enough you’ll land yourself in an interview! This is where you use parables (stories) to help them gain a better understanding of who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and what value you can add to their team!

Unique Skills/Experiences

The value of combining your unique skills and experiences is that it gives you perspective on things OUTSIDE of being a developer that add to your overall effectiveness and creativity in

All other things being equal, and i’m talking about everyone knowing the Technologies required and level of authority/expertise built up for each individual, having a skillset that ISN’T directly related to coding and having experiences that are applicable in ANY industry and team can really set you apart as a valuable asset to hire!

How to use your personal brand to become THE exact person companies are looking for, even if you don’t have all the requirements they put in their job description.

This has been my crème de la crème in my experience. The ability to understand company challenges and positioning yourself, using your content, connections, stories and experiences, as..

THE PERFECT SOLUTION and A NO-BRAINER HIRE for their company/team!

Get started.

I leave you with an analogy I have been thinking about lately. It’s a comparison of a coup d’é·tat, an over-throwing of a government, to being on digital media platforms to provide value and then going for a right-hook (getting a job, asking for audience interaction, getting a referral, etc.)

Attack the media, then attack the palace.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Photo by Lost Co on Unsplash

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Rhuwell Samano

Lead Software Engineer at TRUENORTH | Creates content about unlocking human potential, one-person businesses, and tech