Have you ever looked at yourself as a professional enterprise — one fully equipped with a marketing team, administrative assistant, sales team, IT dept (someone has to do it), CEO, all wrapped up inside yourself? If you haven’t before, it’s time you gave it a chance.
You are a living, breathing enterprise that has the capability of accomplishing anything. Because when an employer is researching you, they tend to think in the back of their mind, is this the person that I can hand a project off to, and they’ll succeed above and beyond what I’ve asked of them? It’s your job to ensure the answer to that question is a resounding YES!
Remember, think big. These are some ways you can build your brand to land your dream job.
Building Your Online Persona
In this day and age, everything takes place online. Gone are the days of communication taking a long time. Today, business lives on the web, and the same goes for hiring.
One of the first things a hiring manager will do after they receive your resume is to do a quick search online to see what they can learn about you. They may search LinkedIn or as they might be as thorough as Googling someone’s name, seeing what pops up and following the trail wherever it leads them.
If you want to capitalize on your online presence, following these tips is the way to do it.
Putting LinkedIn at the top of this article is not random — almost 95% of all recruiters utilize LinkedIn, and over 75% of candidates used LinkedIn to inform of a career change. The popularity and ease-of-use of LinkedIn help many professionals connect.
So how can you ensure your brand is attracting attention on LinkedIn? Here are a few quick tips:
- Professional Profile Picture – It doesn’t have to be expensive – find a solid background, good lighting, dress nicely, and snap a pic with your phone. Photos can go a long way, make it count.
- Make Your Headline Shine – This piece of profile real estate has a lot of potential to catch the eye and intrigue an employer. Don’t settle for what everyone has — write something catchy and precise, so people understand the impact you’re capable of making.
- Be Organized – Taking the time to go through your profile to make sure it’s tidy and up-to-date is essential. Make sure the formatting is similar throughout your profile, and your achievements match up with the content.
- Be connected – Try to get some solid recommendations on your profile. . Leave nice recommendations on former colleagues/classmates profiles, and ask them to write a quick recommendation for you in return.
Think of LinkedIn as the cover of your online persona book. You want it to stand out from everyone else and list the accomplishments you’ve achieved.
Social media has exploded into society and people’s everyday use — it offers you a chance to attract and engage with potential employers. This is your brand we’re talking about, did you know 70% of employers are spending time researching their candidate’s social media profiles?
Let’s explore a few of the top social sites and how you can capitalize.
- Facebook, Instagram & Twitter – What are your interests? Are you able to engage with your followers regarding the content you post? Utilizing these sites to publish thought leadership pieces will help to reinforce a hiring manager’s decision to hire you.
- YouTube – Posting a video of yourself can go a long way in showing employers A) You’re comfortable speaking in front of a camera. B) You understand current trends and how impactful video can be. C) Your personality will always shine through on video.
A Website with a Blog
Blogging has been around for a long time on sites like LiveJournal, Blogger, and WordPress. Now, it’s almost just as easy to set up a website. What are the benefits of a website during a job hunt?
- A unified portfolio of all your social sites, information, bio and experiences
- Multifunctional use for pictures, video, and content
- Another opportunity to showcase your personality and achievements
Attaching a blog to your website is a great way to show employers you’re staying relevant within your industry. It’s also a great way to show off any ideas you may have or showcase your thoughts on trending topics.
Volunteer & Professional Groups
Outside of building online personas, volunteering is a fabulous way for you to not only better your community and yourself but also expand your professional network. Volunteering works on multiple levels for candidates: A) Employers like seeing extracurricular activities. B) Volunteer opportunities act as a great way to network. C) Volunteering can advance your career.
As for professional groups, these are great opportunities to join a networking specific group. Over 80% of candidates find their job opportunities through networking. There are lots of local networking groups you can join if you search for them. Some groups that may be helpful to join include alumni organizations, sporting or health clubs, community groups, etc.
It’s Never Too Late to Start
Encompassing all these tasks may seem a bit overwhelming – but remember; you are the best advocate for yourself. Your personal brand is often the first impression that potential employers encounter. Make sure you’re telling your story and representing your skills. Building a strong personal brand is a critical step toward landing your dream job, so start building today.