Build your brand to make you stand out from the crowd
Simply sending over your CV to companies and hoping for a call back no longer cuts it! Employers are consistently looking to online channels to seek out the best candidates whilst also using these platforms as reference points. This means building and actively managing your own personal brand, which can be seen by everyone at any time, is crucial within today’s competitive job market.
Your brand highlights not only your work experience, but displays your personality, and what you are really about. Being visible across numerous channels will shape your online reputation, and should accurately reflect all the positive attributes which you can offer to an employer.
Here at The Network, we have devised a few pointers we would recommend to make your personal brand stand out.
Me, Myself and I
Firstly, we recommend taking some time to evaluate all the positive qualities you have to offer an employer. Employers are not solely looking for experience anymore, they are looking for personality traits that mirror their work culture and shared values. Have a think about how colleagues, managers and friends would describe you both in work and outside of work. Write these words down and integrate them into your various profiles.
As we have entered the digital age, employers are looking more towards social media sites for reference. With the ability to view your personal pages with just one click, you must ensure these platforms accurately reflect the brand you are trying to project.
Your private profiles will also be assessed when evaluating cultural fit and personality traits, and with this now deemed just as important as skills and expertise, it is key that you are monitoring your personal social brand. Double check your privacy settings. Do you really want potential employers seeing those photos of you surrounded by beers and wine from Saturday night? Keep those images amongst friends. And remember, once a judgement has been made, this is hard to change. So although certain ‘posts’ or ‘likes’ may date back to your university days, it is worth investing some time to clean up those pages! It’s also worth noting that different platforms have different privacy settings. So whilst you may be able to hide the majority of your historical Facebook posts, this is not necessarily the case for the likes of Twitter. Do your research, and make sure you are aware of what each of your channels are showing the world.
Get in the Know
The first few weeks of your big move can often be tricky as you get to know the city you now call home. Where is the best place for coffee? Where will you get your dry cleaning done? How close is the nearest food store? Before leaving, do your research and learn a little about your new hometown and its cultures. Once arrived, if you have time to explore the local neighbourhoods, do so, as living in an area that partners your lifestyle can make all the difference. Read up on local blogs and newspapers but also don’t be afraid to ask your new colleagues for recommendations. It will only be a matter of time before you’re offering advice to the locals!
Time to Link
Expanding upon social media, LinkedIn is without a doubt the most important social network for career development through your personal brand. With more than 300 million users, the majority of those who view your profile will most likely be hiring decision makers within your industry.
Not owning a profile, could in fact hinder your personal brand. When a potential employer searches their network for you on this forum and can’t locate you, you may appear uninterested by social media, an element which is not always acceptable in the internet- based job search world we now live in. In saying that, make sure you are investing time in your LinkedIn. A page that is out of date, or half completed, can be just as damaging for your personal brand. You can monitor this on the “Profile Completion” overview on your profile. Also, bear in mind the key terms that recruiters and employers utilise with LinkedIn, when seeking to fill any available roles they may have. Integrate these phrases into your profile, as you could be the ideal candidate that potential employers are searching for.
Actively post blogs of relevance to your industry, articles of interests and endorse others skills in the hope of connections doing the same for you. This in turn will enhance your brand, and show you are an engaging and active member within the world of LinkedIn.
Finally, our favourite word... Network!
The time and effort invested in developing your personal brand will be simply wasted if you don’t actively project it…it’s time to get networking! As discussed above, networking online is crucial, but it is also important to get yourself out there and put a face to your name.
Attend relevant seminars, functions and events whilst ensuring you keep up to date with the latest trends within your industry of expertise.
Make time to catch up for a chat with your recruitment consultant, or those who have positively influenced your career in the past. You never know who could help you when your career needs it most, and building a strong network can only benefit your brand.