Have you heard about creating your “personal brand”? Do you wonder what that means and why bother?
Personal branding is defined as:
“The unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It’s what makes you unique and sets you apart from everyone else. By developing a personal brand, you’re giving yourself a competitive advantage.” – Search Engine Journal
While the term, “personal brand,” may make you think it’s just the image you cultivate for family and friends—it’s much more than that and applies to today’s job seekers. In today’s job market, your personal brand/online image matters—a lot. It speaks to your character, credibility, and competence. It’s your unique identity and reputation and highlights your skills and talents in your field.
When looking at your brand, ask yourself:
- Does my current online presence and social media tell the story I want it to?
- Does it convey the image and my unique talents that I want to share with potential employers?
Many potential employers and staffing companies will check a candidate’s social media during the recruiting and hiring process, so it’s important that yours is portraying you correctly (and appropriately).
Here are six way to enhance your personal brand:
1. Assess your current online presence.
- Is your information current and up to date?
- Does your online presence include relevant information about you and your skills?
- Are you lacking an online presence? If you don’t have much online or any social media presence, it’s ok to be selective and start slowly. You could start with first creating a free LinkedIn account and setting up your profile. (see Six Ways To Get Noticed By Recruiters On LinkedIn)
2. Clean up your current social media.
This means looking through your various social media accounts and removing any images or posts that you wouldn’t want an employer to see and get the wrong impression of you. This is also a good time to take stock of all your social media accounts and see if there are any you are no longer using and are ready to deactivate.
3. Update your LI profile with your most current job and skills.
Take a close look at your profile and consider asking yourself these questions:
- Does my “About” paragraph tell my story?
- Is my profile photo a bit dated and due for a refresh?
- Is my work experience up to date?
- Do I have any new certifications, degrees, or training to add?
- Who can I ask for recommendations from to add to my profile?
- Are there any assessments I could take to add to my skills?
4. Refresh your resume.
A refreshed or updated resume will mean that it’s ready for any new opportunity. Add any new jobs you’ve held or skills you’ve acquired. If you have new certifications or education, add them too. Have a friend or family member look over your resume to catch any typos and to give you feedback. Once that’s done, upload your resume to your LinkedIn profile as well. (see 7 Easy Steps For Building A Resume)
5. Review your references.
Many employers still do reference checks on potential candidates. Are your references the best choices for you and can they speak to your character, abilities, and skills?
6. Evaluate which social media platforms are best for you.
Are you showcasing your brand on the best social media platform(s) for your career goals? Are there other places you could be taking advantage of? Take stock of which platforms you’re using and if they’re benefitting you. If your career path is going in a different direction, you may need to jump to a different platform.
It appears that personal branding is here to stay, so be sure to review yours periodically and spruce it up as necessary to make sure it’s showing you in your best light.