This article originally appeared as a guest post in the Washington Business Journal

It’s a common misconception that personal branding endeavors are for job-seeking professionals only. After all, they’re the ones having to effectively sell themselves to employers, right? Guess again. Corporate branding is also critically important for companies, even those doing cleared work in the defense industry.

In our age of ubiquitous social media, where everything is shared and little is private, corporate human resources staff and recruiters should be branding themselves just as much as job seekers. Just as you are Googling potential candidates, candidates will be Googling you as well. Before we detail the why and how of successful personal branding for employers and recruiters, here’s a quick refresher on exactly what personal branding is in 2013.

Think about established, well-known public brands like Coca-Cola, FedEx, UPS, or Dell. Just hearing those company and product names should immediately put certain thoughts, feelings, slogans, and ideas in your head. These companies and their products have spent decades of time and marketing dollars to make their brands instantly recognizable to you. Personal branding has essentially the same goals as building a product’s brand. The primary goal is to separate yourself from others and create a clear, visible “story” of who you are, where your expertise lies, and what you believe in. Think of personal branding as building the business of you.

As mentioned earlier, if candidates have to sell themselves to a company’s hiring manager, why should personal branding matter to corporate recruiters and HR staff? There are three main reasons to consider.

First, effective recruiters at the top of their game will acknowledge much of their success is based on how public they are and how open they are to communication. Recruiters who are accessible and responsive to professionals, as well as approachable and candid, often get the best candidates for the job. Why? Because those recruiters have meticulously constructed their personal brands to be this way. When you’ve got a well-known public brand, talented people come to you.

Secondly, effective recruiters know they have to sell open job positions to potential candidates. Unfortunately, pervasive use of social media has made employment scams even more frequent and believable. The more public recognition your name receives around HR and your own industry’s circles, the more prospective candidates will trust you enough to give up their own information and refer others to you.

Finally, as a recruiter or HR representative, your personal brand is a valuable and lasting career asset – something that stays with you, regardless of where you’re currently employed. Browse through recent job postings for recruiters and HR staff and you’ll notice a growing trend: an existing, strong social media presence is appearing more frequently as a job requirement. Similarly, a growing number of recruiters are listing notable aspects of their personal brand on their resumes, including number of connections, achievements received on social networks, number of followers, and other statistics.

No doubt, personal branding is a useful endeavor for any professional seeking a job. But recruiters and HR staff should keep in mind their own public brand is under the same level of scrutiny that they perform on potential hires.

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Evan H. Lesser is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Before founding ClearanceJobs, Mr. Lesser managed technical projects with CACI for the U.S. Navy's Science and Technology directorate at the Pentagon, and for the Joint Technology Panel on Electronic Warfare. Previously, he worked for Boeing on its Reserve Component Automation System program for the U.S. Army in metro Washington, DC. Mr. Lesser has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Georgia in Athens, and lives and works in the Atlanta metropolitan area.