In today’s market, candidates are more visible than ever before. A great resume and interview aren’t necessarily all that’s needed to land you the job, especially if an interviewer has done their online homework on you prior to that important first meeting. Your ‘personal brand’ (the way others see you) can be a powerful marketing tool to ensure that you are professionally presented and up-to-date, and getting it right can make all the difference.
Branding has been around for a long time but personal branding is becoming increasingly relevant as our digital footprint expands. Upon receiving your job application, interviewers are likely to search for you online across sites including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Not only does this give potential employers a good feel for who you are, they’ll also be considering how you’ll represent their company if you are hired. It’s therefore important to ensure that your social media profiles are consistently kept professional and up-to-date.
Optimising yourself online
- Do an audit of your online presence to check that you are accurately and positively portrayed. Are your profile pictures recent or several years old? Have you updated your LinkedIn profile following the start of a new role, or do you still appear as an employee at your old organisation?
- Consider if you're interacting with others effectively. Are you maximising your networking opportunities, particularly within your industry? Seeking and accepting connections from past and present colleagues is a great way to stay in touch, and can prove valuable when sourcing references and future career opportunities.
- Ensure that your privacy settings are appropriate. Keep your Facebook profile private so that only those directly connected to you can see your personal photos and activity. Private networks need to stay private for good reason, so check your settings often and keep an eye on your page activity. This will also help you stay across any functionality changes on these platforms.
- Keeping your LinkedIn profile public is an easy way to help recruiters and potential employers access your career history, contacts, achievements and activities.
The importance of content
- Content plays an important role in managing your personal career brand. Consider the types of content you post – do you share particular subject matter, opinions and attitudes often? Your collective content helps drive people’s perception of you, so it’s important to be strategic in the type of content you share, where you post it, and how often.
- Take the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in a particular area. Sharing your knowledge within groups and forums can help you become a recognised contributor within your industry.
- Online content is searchable long after it’s posted, so keep it relevant and reflective of your personal brand.
Using LinkedIn effectively
A strong LinkedIn profile is a great way to present yourself well to recruitment consultants and employers. This can often be the starting point for hirers to ‘get to know you’ and learn more about your work history.
Ways to maximise your profile:
- Use a professional head shot
- Include your full name (no nicknames)
- Add a keyword rich professional headline
- Write a clear and compelling professional summary that outlines your expertise and experience
- Include a comprehensive list of your qualifications, work history and achievements
- Take the opportunity to request recommendations from your connections. Aim to obtain at least three to provide interviewers with confidence when considering you for a role.
- Publish regular content to keep your profile interesting and fresh
Learn more about effective online branding.