How Important is Personal Branding when Job Hunting?
When you start your job seeker journey, you should be thinking about how you want to portray yourself to other professionals in your field. What do they see and think when they view your online profiles? It’s important that you make sure your personal brand is showing employers both what you want from them and what you can do for them. You want to make sure that you have created a brand that you think suits you and shows your passion for the field you work in.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding involves finding your unique selling point (USP) and building a good reputation around it. What makes you a good engineer and what makes you stand out from the rest? Figure out what you want to be known for and build upon that idea. A personal brand is a relationship with you and your career but exists separately from the company you work for. You want to be known for the work you do, not where you work.
Why should you work on this?
Having a personal brand should be as simple as driving awareness to your career and what you can do for employers. Your message should tell the employers why they should hire you. Starting work on your personal brand can allow you to realise your true potential, you get time to review what you have learnt and the skills you have, building your confidence. Confidence in yourself and your career can have an incredible positive impact on you and your brand.
Social media platforms are an easy and efficient way to start building your brand. Social platforms can help you get reviews and recommendations from people or businesses you have already worked for. Having positive feedback from credible people can create a level of trust. Good feedback can help you gain authenticity and credibility. People will know what kind of work you do and know that you can deliver with good results. It can be very important to make sure that you are discoverable online. This is where you can build new online connections and stay connected with people you have already met through past work or projects.
Choosing where to voice your brand
You don’t need to set up an elaborate campaign to be able to brand yourself well. However, you do need to choose a relevant tone of voice that you will use across all networks. Your brand is all about driving awareness to your career and showing people that you have passion and drive to deliver results. Your brand should be able to tell people what you do immediately. What platforms you chose to use to do this, is up to you.
Decide from the beginning what kind of social media you want to use, not every platform is going to be helpful for you and your job search. Everyone’s personal branding may need different elements to make it work. For a professional brand, it may be easier to stick to LinkedIn. Here you can talk to other professionals, connect and get those important colleague reviews, as mentioned above.
You can use other social platforms, LinkedIn is just one example. Make sure you have a plan before you set up any accounts and try to make sure they all portray the same message and use the same tone. Consistency is very important when trying to create a personal brand.
How to create your personal brand?
Have a focus – Make sure you have a clear message. This should focus on what you have to offer employers. Focus and drive your message in any personal marketing you may do, online or offline.
Be prepared to fail – Not everything always goes to plan and creating your own personal brand can take some time. Parts of your plan may not work so well, and your job search can take more time than expected. But that is no reason to give up. If you fail, which is a possibility, get up and try something new. Job seeking is all about trial and error and creating your brand is no different.
Live your brand and love it – If you love what you do, it will show. You need to be able to show the employer your passion. Let them know that you don’t only have the skills required, but the passion and enthusiasm to do the job and have the right results that they want to see.
Personal branding takes time, it is not something that just happens overnight. You need to ask yourself some questions before you start;
- Who are you?
- What makes you different?
- What makes you good at what you do?
- What are you going to do and how will you do this?
- Is this my passion?
If you can answer these questions with ease, you are ready to start marketing yourself. Remember, your personal brand involved finding what is unique about you and what you offer. It is all about you and no longer about the companies you have previously worked for. Focus on the work you have done and not who you have done it for.