Branding yourself is a great way to stand out of the crowd with so many people applying for jobs in this current economy.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a brand is “a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.” Taking that meaning to a personal level, it means “a particular identity or image regarded as an asset”.
This blog is about branding yourself. Your personal brand is what people say about you, how they think about you, what they associate you with, how they see you: in other words, the total package that is YOU. It is never too late to brand yourself and therefore influence the way people see your personal brand.
Nowadays with the internet, social media and many other aspects about you and your personal life out in the open, it’s important to consider how you want to be seen by people that look for information about you.
It’s very normal these days for hiring managers to do a quick search on you. It is easy for them to type in your first and last name into Google and just see what comes up.
Have you done that yourself lately? Google yourself and see what comes up in the search results? I would really recommend doing that every once in a while.
In my case, I luckily have a pretty common first and last name, and put all my personal profiles like Facebook on strictly private, so if I Google myself I don’t show up in the first few pages but it is still good to see if there is still nothing appearing that you don’t want a hiring manager to see.
So the first step in branding yourself is seeing what is already out there about you. Branding is all about consistency. The following tips are not going to work if the information that people find about you is inconsistent.
The next step is then to start controlling the information that is going to be out there about you; below we explain some tools that might help you.
Think of a hobby or a field you’re interested in and can write about. A blog will increase your online presence. It can be very beneficial when a recruiter or hiring manager runs a search on you and sees your blog, demonstrating your knowledge in a particular field.
It’s important to think about the consistency you will be able to post blogs; will it be daily or weekly? You want to connect with your readers and it helps if they know what to expect. In addition, because your blog is out on the web, you will become part of an online community of like minded people. It can lead to all kinds of exciting new career opportunities.
The simplest and free form of blogging is Google’s Blogger application. Remember to add your blog URL to your resume!
LinkedIn is a great place to begin establishing your personal brand. It’s important to think about the following when setting up your account:
- Use a professional picture
- Complete your profile as much as possible
- Write a summary about your strengths, achievements and knowledge
- Create a custom URL
- Join relevant groups (look at activity, amount of members, amount of SPAM)
- Add your URL to your resume.
Create a video
The use of video resumes has gained popularity among job candidates on sites like ResumeTube. It’s a great way to effectively market yourself to employers and stand out amongst other candidates who do not use this tool. Your brand will come through better in video than on paper. If you think you can’t manage to create a video, try something like Prezi.
Whatever medium you prefer, remember to be creative and keep it short (2 minutes or less is ideal).
If you find it difficult to define your own brand or you miss the confidence, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have training sessions available that will help you!
Good luck with setting up your personal brand!