Because of the booming digital world we live in, the “personal brand” buzzword has been getting thrown around a whole lot in career and job search conversations. Whether you’re on the job hunt, a student, independent freelancer, or gainfully employed, you must think, act, and plan like a business leader when optimizing your personal brand.
Your personal brand is what matters to a potential employer, recruiter, networking contact, or anyone who can help you find a job, or take your career to the next level. Your personal brand should be visible, available and relevant to where you are in your career and where you want to go next. Being intentional about what you want it to stand for, shapes the opportunities you attract. A strong personal brand gives you a competitive edge, the opportunity to take control over your career, and the power to influence those in your industry.
Here is how to optimize and build your personal brand to help you succeed in your career journey.
Conduct an online audit of yourself
What type of branding do you currently have? You can simply check this by Googling your name and see what shows up. Is it information you would want your prospective employer to find? You don’t want to advertise photos from your last summer vacation or a night out with friends at your favorite bar, to anyone who might be in a position to hire you or recommend you for a job. Keep your personal life private. You can still have your Facebook and Instagram profiles just make sure that it’s only viewable to the people you want to see it.
It’s important to keep your personal brand consistent and authentic. All of your branding efforts that help increase your visibility should demonstrate a consistent theme and message across all channels. This includes visual components, design elements, key information, and especially, overall messaging should not vary from one channel to the next.
Ask for recommendations
Having current and former colleagues and managers endorse you is one of the easiest and most effective ways to define your personal brand. Just as a business like Amazon cultivates customer reviews and testimonials for use in sales and marketing, you too should cultivate your own reviews in the form of recommendations, to demonstrate to others your value, hard work, and career goals.
Give to receive
In order to establish yourself well in your online community, set yourself apart, and be truly impactful, your brand should be able to demonstrate your value or benefits by creating and providing information. Create content. Engage and interact with people in your industry about what you know. Don’t hesitate to make people around you smarter. This will only establish you as a highly credible source and set you apart from your competition.
It’s never too soon to start building your personal brand. Don’t get caught up in designing the perfect logo, writing the perfect blog post or producing the perfect video. Create a LinkedIn page and, or website, and start publishing content on topics you’re passionate about and get comfortable with growing and tapping into your personal network. The value of these efforts will compound over time.
Follow the above advice to build and grow your online personal brand, even if you’re not on the job hunt. It will help you advance your career, especially when in transition to your next job. When employers vet potential new employees, they are looking at your personal brand.
If you are a recent grad on the job hunt or looking for a career change get in touch with one of our recruiters. They are ready to guide you along your career journey- Contact us here.