Personal branding has been around for decades. But it’s only been in recent years that it’s started to emerge as a key player in career success. It’s mainly thanks to the rise in social media and new technology. And it requires more than a regularly updated LinkedIn profile.
For many professionals, it can all seem overwhelming. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take today to leverage the power of personal branding when it comes to finding a new job or advancing your career in the future. Here’s a look at six of them from Morgan Hunter, leading recruiters in Kansas City:
1. Google yourself.
It’s always a good idea to first take stock of where you are in your personal branding efforts. One way to do that is by Googling yourself so you know what potential employers and other Kansas City recruiters will find when they do the same. You can also get a sense of areas where your personal branding efforts need some work and whether there are any issues to clean up, such as old Facebook photos that are no longer appropriate.
In addition, once you do start ramping up your personal branding efforts, make sure you Google yourself regularly so you can check progress.
2. Focus on what you’re known for.
Personal branding is about telling a story. To do so successfully, you have to build your story on a strong foundation of your strengths. In order to figure those out, ask yourself a few key questions, such as: What makes you unique or distinctive in your career? And what special skills or abilities do you have? Once you answer these questions, then define yourself with them by creating a brand statement.
3. Stay on top of your social media profiles.
Of course it’s important to regularly update your LinkedIn profile. But you need to branch out to other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and especially those specific to the industry you work in. It can also be helpful to build your own career website that offers potential employers information on your background, along with work samples and recommendations. You can include a link to it right on your resume.
4. Become an author and get vocal.
That doesn’t mean you need to write a book. It does, however, mean that you should be creating content and sharing it on your social media profiles and career website. Content can include anything ranging from short blog posts to longer white papers.
Beyond creating content, it’s also important to comment on the content others create on forums ranging from Twitter chats to LinkedIn groups. Whatever you do, remember to keep your professional and personal voice separate. For instance, it’s not a good idea to post your opinion about hot-button issues on professional forums.
5. Network across platforms.
Once you have a strong brand in place, you want to get it in front of as many people as possible. To do that, make sure you’re networking online. For instance, regularly add connections on LinkedIn and even ask for introductions from your existing network. Another option is to follow hashtags in your industry on Twitter so you can stay current and get involved in conversations.
6. Make sure your online brand and resume match.
They shouldn’t and don’t have to be exactly the same. However, there shouldn’t be any discrepancies between the two, like job titles and dates or skills and abilities. Rather, they should build off and complement each other.
Need more help creating a personal brand for your job search?
Connect with the Kansas City recruiters at Morgan Hunter. We can help you brand yourself successfully, as well as get your foot in the door with some of the top local employers. Contact us today to learn more or search our Kansas City jobs now.