Searching for a new job can be stressful and can even seem like a full-time job in its own right, especially if you don’t know where to start. Employers demand a high level of performance history and professionalism – and the increasing volume of information available to them online makes it difficult to make a great impression, unless you have a solid online personal brand. So here’s a quick guide on how to master your personal branding for your job search…
What Is An Online Personal Brand?
Simply put, an online personal brand is your reputation – a widespread belief that you have a particular set of skills and characteristics. Your online brand should be an accurate reflection of who you are, both in and out of the office.
A personal brand will go beyond the basic CV profile when applying for jobs, to deliver a more complete picture of who you are professionally and so, it’s important you harness this additional layer as it becomes a bonus incentive for an employer to hire you.
Why Is an Online Personal Brand So Important?
I’m pretty sure you’ve looked for someone online using the likes of Google, Facebook and Instagram right? Now, think about this the other way around – from an employer’s point of view. A clear majority of employers will search for you online. What would they find out about you that you may not have so openly shared on your CV?
Another reason it’s so important is ‘leverage’. It can help influence the initial perception of you at that first interview or meeting. A strong personal brand ensures that what an employer can find, is precisely what you want them to find. This gives you a power over the way they perceive you and your image. Building a personal brand for yourself online will allow you to then showcase what you’re about, give insight to the type of worker you are and what you’re an expert in! You want your personal online branding to create a great first impression.
How Do I Get Started?
Now that I’ve shared some insight as to why an online personal brand is important when looking for a new job, here are three pretty simple tips on how you can start developing one:
1. Clean up your existing online reputation.
- Google yourself and work out what looks good and what doesn’t from an employer’s perspective and clean this up.
- Google is quite useful these days in that you can choose what sites you don’t want to be searchable on etc.
- A good idea is to set your social media accounts to private and update your professional accounts such as LinkedIn, to reflect your accurate professional profile.
- Pretty much everything you do online, stays online and can be found somewhere along the line so remember this moving forward.
2. Stay Authentic – keep it real
- Inconsistency can cause you to come unstuck in some situations and besides, if you’re telling the truth then there will be nothing extra to remember when speaking to a potential employer who’s been looking you up!
- It’s important to ground your brand with professionalism, but it’s also important to show off the traits, skills and habits that make you unique.
- A good idea is to define your target audience so that there can be a more focused approach to any information you include.
3. Showcase contributions to your industry / stay current
- If you don’t blog or are not active on industry websites (GitHub / Stack overflow if like me you work in Development) then I suggest you spend some time looking into these and perhaps set up an account which could lead to your own contributions moving forward. Stick to platforms that are relevant for your work and industry and be consistent across them all.
- If you have projects, or have worked on projects that you previously added value to, be proud to speak about these and show off your accomplishments where necessary. This shows you are able to add value and support the work being done within your professional capacity.
- Stay current- especially in the tech scene, you NEED to constantly show you are developing yourself, your skills and your career (a journey within your profile is a very good thing to see).
Just be sure to remember that you’re in control of what’s out there. Your digital brand should be an accurate representation of who you are inside and outside of the professional workplace. Be authentic, be real, and be genuine. Always be professional and update your pages often to make sure this online personal brand is one you can be proud of!
If you’re currently employed, you should start building a personal brand now, even if you don’t plan on leaving anytime soon – it pays to be proactive. Even if you stay at your job forever, your personal brand can help you earn promotions, attract new business, and build better relationships with your clients and co-workers!
If you need any other tips or if you’re keen to hear what I think (as a recruiter) of your “Personal Online Brand” get in touch!
This blog post was written by Damien Ollerhead, our awesome Senior Account Manager.
If you’re looking for a new jobs in software, development or tech, connect with Damien on LinkedIn!