What Is Professional Identity?

A professional identity is the image a person has based on the way she performs a job or operates within a career field. It is often compared to a brand identity, which is a company’s public image. A distinct professional identity is often helpful in building a successful career.

Building a professional identity often involves a mix of education, professional training and personality. People earn degrees and professional certifications to demonstrate knowledge, credibility and expertise in a given profession. Personality and professional etiquette create distinction among the people in a profession who have similar backgrounds. A compelling identity is helpful in distinguishing a job applicant from the overall pool in an interview process.