Darn, there’s that phrase again! Personal Branding! What’s the big deal anyway. Well, the big deal is that more and more employers are choosing known candidates (referrals) over unknown candidates. Actually, this isn’t all that new, but as job seekers, we have a heightened sense of awareness about how important this is.
Your personal reputation speaks volumes.
Think about what your past co-workers think about you. Were you:
- easy to get along with?
- a task master
- strong in your resolve to get things done?
There are qualities and skills you are known for in the workplace and outside of the workplace as well.
What makes your personal brand is the unique combination of your qualities and skills.
And you can influence what you are known for. You have to determine that message.
STEP 1: What is your perceived personal brand?
Ask co-workers, friends, and trusted advisors what they think of when they think of you. What characteristics, skills, talents, abilities do they associate with you.
You can also use these three questions to define your personal brand.
STEP 2: What do you want to be known for?
This depends on the assessment of your values and your goals and where they overlap. What is it that you want to be doing next? Develop the wording or phrasing of what you want to be known for. Career Distinction is a fabulous book by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson.
STEP 3: Begin spreading the good word
Make sure this wording appears on key marketing pieces. Your business card, your resume, your email signature line, your LinkedIn profile, your Google profile, your Twitter account, everywhere you have your name online and offline.
STEP 4: Live your brand
You want your brand to be real, not just words on paper. You want people to believe what you are saying. You want to develop trust. Therefore, you will want to really live your brand. Make sure you use as many of these as possible to help live your brand:
- Volunteer activities
- Professional associations
- Comment on Blogs
- Start a blog
- Enrich your VisualCV with presentations and visual representation of your work
- Add Slideshare, Boxnet and other applications to your LinkedIn profile
- Contribute to groups (LinkedIn or others)
STEP 5: Monitor Your Brand
Once you’ve taken all these steps, the final step is to check with your friends, co-workers and trusted advisors to make sure they are hearing the right message and that it makes sense.
Then you’ll want to make sure your online presence is on track.
Where does your name fall when you Google yourself? Top of page one is your goal.
How many times does your LinkedIn profile appear in search results? Is that more or less than before?
If you want to see where else your name is being mentioned, you can create a no cost search using Google alerts.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.