“My photos don’t do me justice – they just look like me.”
Actress and comedienne Phyllis Diller

Except for the narcissistic among us, most beautiful people will concede that there are too many stories about how beautiful people get preferential treatment in the work place.  We’re told they’re more employable, likely to get better jobs and, stay in them longer.  But what if you’re not…well…beautiful?  What can the aesthetically average among us do, to improve one’s personal brand?

It helps to operate in the world of IT because you’re loved first and foremost, for your brain.  Everything else takes a back seat, like integrity in politics, or common sense among sportsmen in night clubs, but that doesn’t mean you should turn up to work in cardigans that smell like moth balls, or fall down on the simplest of social graces; like knowing not to burp when someone’s talking, or, asking a co-worker to pull your finger…at any time!


Even the most technically accomplished among us can do things to improve their professional appeal.  We’re IT recruiters, not dating experts, so the advice we’re sharing probably won’t do you a lot of good with RSVP or eHarmony, but it will help you find more love at work.

First off, it will probably benefit you to recognise that there are lots of clever, competent, skilful and experienced people out there, many of whom can do your job every bit as well, and possibly better, than you.  We should know, because we’re constantly finding and placing them.  Lacking a little gloss, here’s a few helpful tips to have people swooning…well, looking at you with interest anyway.


  1. Who exactly are you?

First step, know who you are and what you stand for? It’s hard to improve your personal brand if you don’t know what it is.  Miley Cyrus isn’t a prima ballerina and Margot Fonteyn never rode a wrecking ball! Nuff said!

  1. Social media is your canvas

Once you know who you are and what you’re about, use social media to showcase your talents and increase the chances of having them recognised.  Start a blog, write white papers for LinkedIn, create a personal website, all of which will help you stand out from the crowd.  And there is a crowd, so work on your writing before you start believing you’re Ernest Hemingway. And speaking of Hemingway, he is famous – at least in part – for using short, punchy sentences. Cop the tip.

  1. Play nice with others

Share your knowledge regularly and in a non self-aggrandizing way.   You don’t need to tell people how amazing you are, unless you’re Donald Trump.  Impart your wisdom with grace and benevolence. Use keywords to draw attention to your skillsets and make sure you link your social media profiles to make it easy for people to follow you and find out what you’re about.

  1. Nobody’s perfect, so keep working at it

Be willing to learn new skills and upgrade those you already have.  Nothing undermines a personal brand faster or more thoroughly than an intolerance to personal development.  We can all improve.  Even Donald Trump.

  1. Look to othersthe right ‘others’

Identify role models and/or find a mentor.  Modeling yourself on people who are successful is like using proven recipes to cook, and finding a mentor, who can objectively guide you, is like befriending the chef.  Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.  Have a good look at yours.

So there you have it, five helpful tips to improve your personal brand irrespective of what you look like, because in the end, it really doesn’t matter.  Being pleasant for example, is just as important as being attractive.  Phyllis Diller said it best; “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” Then again, she also said; “Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight” so smile as often as you can… but you better also re-read the 5 tips!