A personal brand is how people perceive you – your public reputation. A professional personal brand can help open up new job opportunities. Although building a personal brand takes time and requires some effort on your part, here are some tips to get you started.
Do a search on your personal brand
It’s common these days for employers to conduct online searches on potential employee’s names to find out as much about them as possible. So what do search engines say about you? Type in your own name and see what results appear. The first results will probably comprise your social media profiles, and maybe blog posts, comments, and mentions. These could shape employers’ first impression of you – good or bad!
If you need to, edit your social media profile and adjust the privacy settings to control what the public can see about you. Removing content on other sites will probably not be possible, so always be careful what you post.
Create a public image for yourself
How do you want people to perceive you? If you want employers to note your particular expertise, build your personal brand around a strong online public image.
Evaluate your skills and expertise to identify what separates you from others in your field. What can you offer that’s different? How would you – or other people – describe yourself? It can be helpful to ask former colleagues or friends for their input – if their answers are different to yours, find out why. You may need to change what you do or what you want to do.
Select the right social media platform
Social media can provide an excellent platform for showcasing your abilities and experiences. However with so much choice how do you ensure you pick the right one?
The appropriate platform will usually depend on what area you work in. For example, building and maintaining a LinkedIn profile is a popular way for professionals to network with other professionals and uncover potential job opportunities. Flickr, Tumblr or Pinterest are used by people working in creative industries.
Start engaging with people
Contribute to discussions within your field of interest and interact with people; people won’t know you if you keep quiet. Regularly engaging in conversations will help people become more familiar with you and to trust you and your opinion. As a result they may endorse you, improving your personal brand and increasing future job opportunities.
The idea behind networking is to get something in return, but make this your long-term strategy. As in real life, take your time and get to know people before asking for help with your job search.