Canadian Workers Vigilant about their Personal ‘Brand’

November 11, 2010 ( – A growing number of Canadians are developing their own personal "brands" as they take greater control over their careers, including steps to help differentiate themselves in a fast-changing workplace.

According to a news release, a survey from Kelly Services found personal marketing, or branding, has become a feature of the modern workplace, with respondents identifying the elements they regard as most important in building their identities — verbal communication skills (70%), resumés (64%), technical knowledge (63%), written communications (63%), personal attire (52%), and use of social media (39%).

“As many individuals are moving out of the typical employment relationship, they are thinking about how to promote themselves and stand out from the crowd,” said Kelly Services VP and Managing Director of Canadian Operations Karin French, in the news release. “There is also a high degree of awareness about the pace of change in the workplace and the ability to manage this change.”

Survey findings also show 70% of respondents are prepared to invest their own money to upgrade their skills and more than half believe they will change careers and re-invent themselves at some point in the future.”

Results of the survey include:

  • 73% of Gen X are prepared to invest their own money on training to upgrade their skills, higher than for Gen Y (69%) and baby boomers (68%).
  • 74% of baby boomers cite verbal communication skills among the most important elements in personal branding, compared with Gen X (72%), and Gen Y (66%).
  • 78% of Gen Y are “very optimistic” about their ability to keep pace with technological and other changes in the workplace, higher than for Gen X (74%) and baby boomers (67%).
  • 58% of respondents expect to change their careers in the future, with baby boomers (60%) more likely than Gen X and Gen Y (both 58%).
  • 25% of respondents describe themselves as “very active” in their use of social media for personal marketing, while another 35% say they are “somewhat active”.

Those industries where employees are most willing to invest their own money to upgrade their skills include Engineering, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Financial Services, and Education, the poll found.

Across Canada, those employees most optimistic about keeping pace with technological and other changes in the workplace are in Quebec (79%), followed by British Columbia (77%), Alberta and Ontario (both 74%), New Brunswick (72%), Saskatchewan (68%), and Nova Scotia (65%).

The survey obtained the views of approximately 134,000 people in 29 countries, including more than 15,000 in Canada. More information is at