Looking for a job can be an intense process. You are competing with tons of people who want the same job as you. It is important to really showcase your talents and stand out in the crowd. One way to do this is to build your personal brand.
Think about big companies like Target. They have a very distinct corporate brand and image. You may recognize the red and white bulls-eye sign, and the friendly white dog. You might also know that Justin Timberlake has teamed up with them in the release of his new CD available exclusively at Target Stores. Just like Target, you need to establish your personal brand and image for yourself – to market you! When someone says your name what comes to their mind? What do you want them to know about you and think of you? This is where personal branding steps in.
There are many different channels for you to start the personal branding process – try starting with these and see if they would help you!
While Twitter limits the number of words in your post, your blog or podcast can have an unlimited number of words! Voice your interests, passions, or your dream career. Begin by writing an impressive bio that tells the world your skills, experience and your future aspirations. Stress your job skills as well as your interests. A blog or podcast is a great way to showcase your writing skills, or online video skills, think of it as an online writing portfolio. This will be under your name so when employers Google you it will appear. Also, this is not your diary. Maintain a professional style of writing/podcasting and employers are sure to be impressed. Pick specific days to post or post every day, being consistent shows dedication. Maintaining a blog or podcast may sound daunting but if you are posting about your interests it will turn into a fun, creative task. Be sure to comment on other people’s blogs or podcasts too because it will build your circle of followers and increase the chances of them commenting on your posts. Popular blog sites include: Blogger, WordPress . Apple is a popular podcast site.
This site is a professional powerhouse for networking that lets you build your own brand and network with professionals in your field. Post your resume and showcase your accomplishments. Build to your network by connect with people you know or employers in your network and they will connect with you. Endorse skills for people in your network and they will most likely endorse your skills as well. If you have questions about your field, create a forum to ask the question. The more questions you ask and answers your receive, the more knowledgeable you will be able your field. This site can only help your job search.
Your Twitter account is most likely for your own social, personal use but you need to take your Twitter account beyond a personal level. Twitter connects you to professionals in your line of work, and enables you to see what they are talking about and what is trending in your industry. Post article links that spark your curiosity or interest you on a professional level. Always hashtag (#) your posts. Use your Twitter contacts for your own benefit and engage in Twitter chats.
This is a great tool to search for people and companies in your field. Build a professional profile, you can even copy the information you used in Twitter or LinkedIn. Include key words and essential skills that employers might be searching for in a future employee. Your Google+ account is the first account that publicly appears when your name is typed into a search engine. People can view your profile and contact information with the click of a button. As on Twitter, and Facebook, Google+ enables you to post your status. Be mindful of your Google+ activity and share/like things that relate to your career interests.
This site can be dangerous for your professional career because you have little power over your posts and where/how they are shared. Even if your settings are private, friends can share things without you even knowing it, making your life very public. Your Facebook should be personal and professional; anything you do on Facebook becomes part of your personal brand. Beware of “Liking” every page you come in contact with. Some of your “Likes” could give employers the wrong idea about you. Your Facebook shows what you are like outside of work, so make sure you are presenting yourself appropriately.
Tell everyone you know that have a Twitter, blog etc. Do not be shy about your sites. If you are passionate about something, people will most likely want to read about your interests. Do not be discouraged if your readership is small. Rome was not built in a day. In addition, not everyone will be a fan of your interests but this is your personal brand, what matters are that you are interested in them! Word of mouth is powerful. An important person, such as a future employer may see your blog or like a post and they may tell someone else, who tells someone else.
Find out who is talking about you on these sites and start public or private chats with them. Form relationships with people and maintain the relationships, it is better to make friends before you need them. Discover professionals who share your career aspirations. Network with distant friends or past colleagues. Join groups with select interests and gain new knowledge. Study your rivals and what they do on these networks so you can sharpen your own tactics and get ahead of the game. Don’t delay creating your personal brand; you may be missing great opportunities!
~ Ali McFadden
“There is no success without hardship” – Sophocles