Personal brand for job search, simplified.
Books, seminars and all manner of digital offerings are available to illuminate the nuances of creating and maintaining a personal brand. Personal branding for your job search is not an arcane art. If you are a six figure income executive or technology leader, you already have a brand. You may not know what it is, but it is there.
Jeremy Siegel offers a well researched piece on personal branding and social networking sites. His article is an excellent overview and leads right into this post which tells you how to embrace your personal brand specifically for your immediate needs of your job search.
Step one: There are tools that reveal how the world sees you digitally. I like setting alerts on search engines since a simple Google search reveals only a partial picture of your digital existence.
Step two: Uncover even more of what prospective employers see, select a few of the tools mentioned on this excellent list from JobMob.
Once you know your digital brand you can maintain or correct it based on what you want employers to know about you and to increase the probability you will be found when they use sophisticated search tools to locate your special expertise. Don’t think employers use digital tools to find you? Take a look at the Boolean Strings groups on LinkedIn, use a search engine ‘Boolean strings, recruiters’ and read what the Boolean Strings black belt has to say. And this is just one resource they use. Some recruiters have been quoted saying they prefer to use blog entries to locate the experts they need as candidates.
Step three: LinkedIn is a significant branding opportunity. Use it correctly and you become a candidate, use it poorly and you are overlooked or discarded as a candidate. Most people use LinkedIn to vet any new connection. Job seekers use it for myriad purposes. And employers and recruiters use it extensively to determine if they want to take next-steps with a prospective candidate. Here are a few things you can do today.
- Use the profile section as a marketing tool, not a recap of your resume. Learn the priority of prospective employers and highlight your expertise in that area.
- Solicit every reference you can garner. Prospective employers read them, especially if they are short, sweet and on point to their requirements.
- Insert your public email address so anyone can contact you easily. Public because the spam catchers are invaluable.
- Ask and answer questions germane to your brand.
Step four: Measure every social networking site where you have a profile against the brand you want to portray. Is it consistent with the image you want employers to see? Sure, these are person sites, but make no mistake, employers see them.
Step five: Join and participate in groups associated with your brand. LinkedIn provides resources for groups where you will be in contact with peers. Go beyond LinkedIn. Join your college alumni groups as well as alumni groups of former employers.
Step six: Blog. Don’t have one of your own? Then use key-word searches based on your brand and contribute to related blogs. Use your LinkedIn profile in your signature.
Step seven: Know your elevator pitch. Use it at all business networking gatherings and cover letters. Let your elevator pitch broadcast your brand.
Take care of these basic chores and return here for other advice on personal branding for job search. My personal soap box includes the advice to watch your writing; make certain you are seen as someone who pays attention to detail, is literate and communicates well. Without this, no amount of branding will gain traction.
Click here to learn why your brand is critical to your job search Installment One
Click here for installment two on Digital Job Search and Branding.
For discussion of how to discover how the world sees you: installment three.
Click here for installment four to discover your current identity.
Click here to start your branding efforts for your job search installment five
Not sure how to get these job search activities rolling? Purchase Job Search Debugged and Networking Debugged, PDF Downloads which you can purchase for a few dollars but which will prove to be priceless. They are field tested and offer advice from hiring authorities, examples and scripts.