How do you stand out in the job market?
Build your personal brand. Brand might sound like something that belongs in the world of organisations or influencers, but it can have a positive impact on your career too. Here’s 7 straightforward tips you can action now to build your personal brand.
What does it mean to build your “personal brand”? Your personal brand comes down to who you are and what value or skills you have to offer. It can mean making other people view you as valuable. They can see you as knowledgeable in a certain topic or field – whether that’s marketing, home renovations or make-up.
Why is building your personal brand important?
Having a strong personal brand will also help you during the job application process as you will be better prepared to put forward your values and skills during interviews.
In post-Covid times, where there are high volumes of applicants, employers are turning to people with strong brands.
All of our activities online – on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and so on – form an online personal profile that employers and recruiters can search. Whether we like it or not, this gives them an idea of the character, values and interests of potential employees. Research shows a staggering 70% of recruiters say they use social networking sites to research prospective job candidates. Here’s the scary thing: of those who conduct social media screening, 57% say they discovered content that caused them not to hire a candidate.
What are employers looking for on a social media profile?
- Information on candidate’s job qualifications (58%)
- Professional online persona (50%)
- What content others are posting about the candidate (34%)
- Any potential reason not to hire the candidate (22%), such as inappropriate videos or posts, discriminatory comments, etc.
By actively creating a personal brand, you can start to control how you are marketing yourself and ensure employers get the best possible picture of who you are and what you can offer.
How to build your personal brand
Social media makes it easier for anyone to build their personal brand. It takes some time, but it could be the one thing that gets the attention of prospective employers and helps you land your dream job.
Follow these steps to build your personal brand on social media:
1. Create your social media profiles
Chances are you already have a few social media accounts. Maybe you have some you no longer check and update. Building your personal brand takes consistency, so you need to focus on only one or two social media platforms that you will regularly update and monitor.
Decide which social media accounts you are going to focus on. Will it be Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube…? Delete any old accounts – they will only undermine your branding efforts. On your chosen networks, make sure all of your information is accurate and complete.
Our recommendation is to include LinkedIn as one of your profiles. Why? Because not only is it a powerful job search tool, 77% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn to reach out to prospective candidates about job opportunities.
In fact, LinkedIn is the most-used channel for recruitment efforts. So, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, or you haven’t updated your profile in a while, you are missing out job opportunities.
Here’s some quick tips to optimise your LinkedIn profile:
- Add your experiences and skills using appropriate keywords
- Write an engaging profile summary
- Ask for recommendations
- Interact with other users through comments
- Share important articles or findings about your industry
- Join industry groups
2. Think about what you stand for
Your brand should come from the value you can offer to the people you work with. Consider your goals, your market/ industry, and what you bring to these people or organisations. You might have a topic of expertise – what type of content you have created that your followers have responded to most. The more engaging the content you create on your topic of expertise, the more your followers will start link you to that field.
Have focus. You might want to try and be everything to everyone, but it’s better to decide on your key message and stick to it. Like a company brand, it can help to think about your target audience and what content they want from you.
Once you know what you stand for, be consistent and authentic. Stick to your values in what you share and post, and in the opportunities you consider.
3. Tell your story
We don’t mean tell your life story, but creating your personal brand comes down to a compelling narrative. A middle-of-the-road description of yourself is not going to help you stand out from the pack.
Think about what makes your story different. Maybe you have taken an unusual path to get to where you are now. Has your career taken some surprising turns? Have you had impactful life experiences? Be authentic in how you tell your story and your personal brand will start to shine.
4. Share on a regular basis
Posting on social media is a delicate balance of keeping your audience interested without annoying them or creating fatigue. A monthly Instagram post won’t achieve much at all, while twice daily Facebook posts is too much.
The sweet spot for individuals tends to be around 3-4 times per week. Analyse the data to identify a schedule that works for you.
5. Create engaging content
Sharing and curating content from others is great, but you need to create your own content if you want to build your personal brand. It could be videos, blogs or photos that take a fresh approach to your field of expertise.
Learn how to create compelling social media content in the Diploma of Social Media Marketing.
6. Join groups
The great thing about Facebook and LinkedIn is that there are literally thousands of opportunities to join groups focused on specific topics and industries. Search to find groups that are linked to your specific area of expertise and use this to network, join discussions and add your own ideas. It takes time but it’s an effective way to build your personal brand.
Note: Group managers may review your request to join or ask for information to make sure you meet their membership criteria.
7. Ask for feedback
Not sure your personal brand is coming across on social media? Consider asking friends or trusted contacts in your professional network for feedback. Take onboard any suggestions of what to add or change.
Creating your personal brand on social media will take time and effort. But it can also be the thing that gets the attention of employers and puts you ahead of the competition. In the increasingly transparent online world, your brand has more reach and impact on your career opportunities than ever before. Tap into this power and you can fast-track your career success.