‘Personal Branding’ is all about creating a positive reflection of who you are as a professional and making it searchable online. Whether it’s posting pictures of yourself at a professional conference, writing blog posts or commenting on conversations via social media, all these elements contribute to building your personal brand online.
So why is personal brand important when you’re searching for a job and how can you create a great personal brand?
How many times have you looked for someone online using the likes of Google, Facebook and Instagram? Now, think about this the other way around – from an employer’s point of view. A substantial majority of employers will conduct a search for you online. What would they find, that you may not have so openly shared on your CV?
Having a strong online personal brand gives you control over the perception of others and can create a great first impression before you’re even invited to an interview. Here’s our tips on how to create a great online personal brand…
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! So remember this moving forward.
2. Review and update your LinkedIn profile
- Your headline doesn’t have to be your job title. Instead, use it to showcase your speciality and achievements, ensuring you use relevant key words that will return your profile in searches.
- Get a custom url! Rather than the random profile url you’re assigned, you can create a custom url that will make your profile link look more professional and easier to publicise.
- Choose a clear, friendly, and professional image. Research other profiles to get an idea of the look and feel you’re after.
- Utilise your summary. Create one or two paragraphs that communicate who you are, your passions, your skills and your goals.
- In order to stand out, include achievements (in percentages and statistics where you can) to demonstrate ways in which you’ve excelled at KPIs
- Add rich media such as images and videos, and ensure you add links to your websites, portfolios and blogs etc.
- Engage regularly! Post often, interact with other uses and showcase your expertise.
3. Be honest, online should reflect real life
Inconsistency can be perceived as a red flag, and 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.
4. Stay current and look for new platforms
If you don’t blog or are not active on industry websites, you should spend some time looking into platforms that are relevant for your work and industry. If you 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 to the work being done within your professional capacity. If you’re working in digital marketing or design utilise LinkedIn, Pinterest, Behance and Dribbble, or set up your own blog using sites like Tumblr or Wix. If you work in Development, look at sites such Stack Overflow or GitHub.
5. Utilise video to support your brand and CV
If you want to communicate who you are, what you’re great at and what kind of new job you’re looking for, then an easy and effective way to do this is with video. Video creates room for context and understanding with 89% of employers stating they would rather watch a video resume than read a CV.
You can create a video that can be added to almost any online platform, and it’s a quick way for potential employers to get to know you. With video you can talk in more detail about your skills and experience and showcase your personality and communication skills. Speak directly to camera and keep it professional. Be aware of sound, lighting and your background! Be succinct and stick to no more than 1:30 in length, as after this viewer attention starts to drop off.
We even made a video about personal branding…
How we use video at Hanover
For all the roles we recruit for, we offer our candidates the opportunity to do a video with one of our consultants. The consultant will arrange a time that suits you and will send you a link to the video platform along with a list of questions that the hiring company is looking for answers to. This will give you a clear idea of what information to cover in your video.
You can then have a chat with the consultant who will prepare you before the video starts recording. It’s a casual conversation on your background, skills and why you think you’re right for the job. Your consultant can also offer prompts so you can cover all the points you want to talk about. It’s a relaxed and friendly way to pitch your suitability to employers and you can do as many takes as you like!
Remember, you’re in control of what’s out there…
Your personal 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!