Personal Branding in the Context of Job Search

Many job seekers are unaware of the fact that they should invest their time in cultivating their personal brands during job search. Why so? Personal branding is essentially marketing your expertise. It signals your accomplishments and your potential to achieve more. Hiring managers often research job applicants online to find out more information about them. To stay ahead of the game, make sure that the search engine will show information which shows you in the best light. A consistent brand acts as a personal billboard which signals that you are goal-oriented and have a strategy to achieve your goals.     

Most corporate brands have mottos which quickly sum up what the companies are all about. For example, Nike’s “Just do it.” grasps the essence of the company’s advocacy for active movement and setting workout goals. The same applies to personal brands: think of a statement which is 1-2 sentences long, and grasps the essence of your personal brand. The next step is to create your elevator pitch, i.e. a short 30-60 second business pitch telling recruiters who you are, and why they should hire you. The elevator pitch should highlight your appeal to potential employers.

Takeaway 1: Sum up your brand. 

Hiring managers research candidates not only on social media but also use search engines to find out more about their work experience and activities. Job seekers should thus create their personal brands with search engines in mind. For their branding efforts, many companies use search engine optimization (SEO). It is recommended for individuals to increase their online visibility through SEO as well. It should be noted that not all job seekers will immediately have a professional website appear in search results. To improve their search engine results, they might need to update their LinkedIn profile.  

Takeaway 2: SEO your name.

The appeal of a personal brand can be significantly boosted by a network. The more contacts you have in your industry, the more chances you have to get job connections. Peer recommendations, plus personal branding efforts, can create new job opportunities. Even if you are already well connected, adding more people to your network can still benefit you. Although LinkedIn is a good place to expand your network, remember about face-to-face interactions at different events like trade fairs, industry seminars or meetings.

Takeaway 3: Build a network.

The next step is to share your expertise with others. Once you get noticed as the go-to-source, the number of your followers will grow. Remember to only share quality content. Write content that is helpful to others and is never promotional. Post 2 posts a week on social media, and increase the number of posts as long as you can commit. All these actions will help build a solid personal brand and set you apart from other candidates. Employers are increasingly looking for individuals with a brand, many followers and subject-matter expertise.

Takeaway 4: Invest in your expertise.

Personal branding happens not only online. You need to take care of your offline assets as well. If you do not have a business card, consider getting one. In today’s increasingly digital business environment, a printed business card signals professionalism, and can help you make good connections. Your business card should be clean and concise. Put only necessary information. Next, focus on your lifestyle: consider how much your lifestyle affects your looks and personal brand. Remember to stay physically active, sleep well and eat quality food. Your effort will not go in vain: you will be able to position your personal brand better against competition.

Takeaway 5: Take care of your offline assets.

Even in an increasingly digital business environment, every professional should have a business card. Business cards are important to make valuable contacts. They should be neat and concise. Then you need to consider how your lifestyle affects your appearance and personal brand. Your appearance and behaviour determine how other people perceive you. So stay active, try to reduce stress in your life, and set up a daily routine. This will help ensure the attractiveness of your personal brand and withstand fierce competition.  

References:  Cheryl Lock, | Mike Simpson, | Kelsey McKeon, | Anastasia Belyh, | |