How can you best help yourself when creating and selling your personal brand?
So, what are the best online tools to present yourself to the business world?
- LinkedIn is a great networking tool for candidates across a broad range of job disciplines, but it requires a strong profile and consistent usage. As previously stated, by creating a brand around your skills and career history, you know what your unique skills set is. The next step is to get this online. If you have a LinkedIn profile but don’t use it often (apart from when job hunting), I would say get networking. LinkedIn is a way to build relationships with peers in your field and for people to get in touch with you. If you are a sales professional within a niche field, why use LinkedIn not only to generate sales for your current employer, but also to see where you want to go next? Key words are essential in your profile to be sure that you can be found by the right people. LinkedIn lets you control what information goes out into the business world about you. It allows you to give and receive recommendations on other people’s work and your own and can, if used correctly, add depth and character to your offline CV that is sat in front of Recruitment and Hiring Managers.
- Job Portals – Online job boards are a great tool for job hunting. It is a one stop shop: you can post your CV, sit back and wait for the interest to come flooding in. But how many times have you been contacted about a role that to be plain just isn’t right? Don’t get me wrong, online job boards are an integral part of any job search, but you can only present your skills and history in one way: the way that the job boards want you to. So by all means, post your CV on one or as many as you like, but this should only be one of the ways that you reach out to potential employers and build your personal brand up.
- Blogs/Subject Expert -If you have a strong knowledge of your industry or job sector, why not start a blog giving advice and opinions on key topics? This is an excellent way of showcasing your knowledge and by promoting your own content with your LinkedIn account, you will create a homogenous profile allowing multiple potential employers to see what you have to offer. A useful starting point for creating a blog template is the free platform www.blogger.com. A blog is such a useful thing to have when building your personal brand, as it will physically prove your interest and knowledge in your field. Companies want to hire and work with people who have a genuine passion for what they do, rather than those who just see it as a job. As Aristotle said: “pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work”.
- Twitter – Again, like Facebook, this depends on how much you want to share. If Twitter is where you connect with friends and families, it may be best to leave this out of your online strategy for job hunting. However, it could also be worth considering creating a professional Twitter account that can be used purely to promote your own content and to give your own comments and insight about industry relevant topics and news. Twitter is largely made up of people sharing their opinions, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to engage in intelligent discussion with a huge variety of people at all levels in your space. Do a Google search of the top social media influencers in your space and get following them! Not only will this attract people to your profile, it will allow you pick up lots of tips and tricks. You can also look for other relevant and helpful accounts by checking what Twitter Lists they are included on as well.
Research and Searching for Jobs
Of course, the thing of the most value that the online world has to offer job hunters is viewing current job opportunities. Just as I have outlined how you should create a strong online presence, so to can you use the methods described to make judgements on the companies and jobs you apply for. Just as you do, companies also have reputations and skills they need to maintain: by looking at their websites, LinkedIn company profiles and their job portals (on their own website or through independent job advertising websites), you can judge if they are the direction you want to take your career in. It is also well worth checking on Glassdoor, as this will give you real accounts from current and previous employees, and as it is anonymous, people are much more likely to have been honest with their statements.
This will also help you to create some sort of synergy between yourself and the companies you would be most keen to work with. You can analyse their values and their key attributes and then try to emphasize those that you share with them. This extra research will give you a clearer idea of whether the company is a good cultural and professional match for you as well.
Research is something that it is most important to do when you begin to build up your personal brand and online presence, but it is not something that should be forgotten about once you start making progress. Both the job market and the online world are things that are constantly changing and evolving, and in order to stay relevant, we must change and evolve with it.
There are a few more final things that need some thought given to them with regards to your personal brand: we will cover these in our next post.