Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Build a personal brand that stands out from employers

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

CEO of The NSLS. Co-author of “Hacking the SAT: Tips and Tricks to Prepare, Plan Ahead, and Increase Your Score.”

The job search has evolved a lot in the digital age, especially in the way recruiters screen candidates. A Google search is now as ubiquitous as a criminal background check. Often, the online search determines whether a candidate even gets an interview. A questionnaire found that 98% of recruiters search for candidates online before hiring them.

Therefore, it is imperative for job seekers to manage their personal brands online. In today’s competitive market, experience alone does not help candidates stand out. They must be opinion leaders with a mission and a story to set them apart. Candidates with a well-developed digital footprint who demonstrate their expertise, passion, and understanding about a particular industry or topic are more desirable than those who only offer a resume.

What exactly is a personal brand?

A personal brand consists of the traits and stories that define someone in the public eye. In the context of a career, personal branding revolves around skills, professional experience, education, personality and even aesthetics. Some of the world’s most famous leaders are known for their brands as well as their achievements. Virgin Group’s business portfolio, for example, reflects founder Richard Branson’s love of adventure, while Gary Vaynerchuk is known as much for his entrepreneurial spirit as for sharing wisdom transparently.

How do we know their brands are so effective? Because while they will never work for us, their brands give us an idea of ​​what they would do if we hired them. A personal brand can help job seekers the same way: painting a picture of who they are to recruiters long before a job interview.

Branding offers a number of benefits to job seekers. First, it helps them establish authority in an industry or subject, automatically increasing their value. It also conveys the authenticity of one’s genuine passion for a subject. Branding can help match job seekers to a niche, making them more attractive when they match a vacancy.

How do you build a personal brand?

Creating an authentic personal brand is an inside-out job. It starts with honestly assessing your values ​​and goals before showing them to the world. Here’s how to do it:

Clarify your passions and values.

What did you dream of doing as a child? What are you most interested in and naturally curious about? What did you like most about school or your previous jobs? By asking yourself these questions, you can reveal what you really care about and even illuminate your greater purpose. Self-reflection can help job seekers clarify a unique way they approach their job or even help them settle into a niche.

Build your portfolio.

Portfolios are a necessity for creative professionals, but they are not limited to art and design. Create a website that captures who you are, what you’ve accomplished and what impact you want to make. In addition to a bio and a photo of your face, you can also include details about your experience, why you’re interested in your field, niches you’re focused on, and insights about your industry.

Business professionals with an executive track can write case studies highlighting the results of projects they have led. Blogs are a great way to showcase thought leadership, and media mentions are impressive for professionals in any industry. There is no limit to the type of information or resources you can include. Make sure it is relevant to the image you want to convey and that it is acceptably professional according to the standards and practices of your field.

Increase a social media presence.

No one can trust that a website will be noticed without self-promotion. Social media is the best way to connect with others, network and build a following. Create profiles on any platform where it makes sense for your industry and start branding. Choose platforms that are particularly popular in your industry or niche for maximum exposure. For example, interior designers have more success on Pinterest or Houzz than on LinkedIn.

Build a following by connecting with others in your industry, boosting your colleagues, amplifying messages that resonate with your brand, and creating images, videos, or posts that demonstrate your unique approach or insight. Generate traffic to your website whenever possible.

Refine your brand with leadership training.

Offline, finding your authentic brand can take a lot of time, through trial and error. This is especially true for those just starting out in their careers. Leadership training programs can be a useful way to clarify your purpose and find your voice. (Full disclosure: My company offers leadership training programs, as do others.)

Plus, direct experience is the best way to find out how you relate authentically to other professionals, rather than how you think you should. More importantly, a training program allows you to learn with others who are also trying to develop their skills, which can help you build a valuable network.

When it comes to building a career, your digital presence is just as important as how you dress or behave at work. Job seekers need to take control of their online presence to avoid making a bad impression on recruiters. Actively building a personal brand can open you up to incredible new opportunities.

This building does not end online. You can spend hours creating the perfect website and online presence, but if you show up for an interview that doesn’t suit it, chances are you won’t get the job. Make sure you constantly strive to hone and fully embody your personal brand. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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