Personal Branding – 3 Tips for Your Job Search (And 1 Mistake)
It may be a new year, but the job search market is still as competitive as ever. In order to set yourself apart in this cutthroat market, it’s crucial to brand yourself. Personal branding will help employers understand what assets you bring to the table.
#1 – Get Professional Headshots
Is your headshot professional enough? In the modern world of social media connections, people want to be able to connect a face with a name. Photos are expected alongside blog posts, Facebook updates, social media profiles and online articles. Because of this, people are far less likely to click on a LinkedIn profile without a picture.
Make sure any potential employers who are researching you get to connect a face with a name and credentials. If you’re uncomfortable with the photos you have, get a series of professional headshots and upload them to your social network profiles and Flickr or Picassa account. You don’t want someone doing a Google image search and seeing one photo replicated 30 times. Professional headshots are a very important part of online personal branding.
#2 – Rely on Social Media Over Job Postings
Are you solely relying on job postings in your job search? You might want to reconsider. Job postings are inefficient. In a down economy, employers begin to get many more applications from unqualified candidates. The sheer volume of resumes received can be unmanageable. Social networks are making it easier for hiring managers to identify qualified potential hires, and because of this, job postings may soon become a thing of the past. When hiring managers and recruiters have an open position, they’ll often search the Internet and reach out to their social networks to find the perfect candidate before creating job postings.
Ensure your social network profiles are engaging and up-to-date. And make sure you use appropriate keywords in everything you post online so you’ll be found by those who are looking for someone with your expertise.
#3 – Make a Professional Video
Are you using video to stand out? In the past, there were two things standing in the way of using video to build your brand: 1. Self-produced video looked amateurish and didn’t always create the best impression; and 2. Studio shoots produce professional video but they come at a high cost and are time-consuming. Today, new hybrid video services, like videoBIO, make it easy to create a professional quality video that will help you build your brand.
Video helps you stand out in a job search. Consider producing a video bio. First, write your branded bio (combining your credentials, experience and successes with your personality and passions). Then, create a script and practice. Next, work with a professional or site like videoBIO to get a high quality video produced. Upload your final video to YouTube, and other video sharing sites. Share the video with your social networks, and use the app in LinkedIn to embed your video bio in your LinkedIn profile.
Mistake – Having an Unfocused Brand
Many job seekers purport to practice personal branding. But instead of identifying and demonstrating their unique value through their communications, they continue to brand themselves as, say, an IT project management expert and a business process improvement expert and a virtualization expert.
“People have ‘slash’ identities, and it’s a problem,” says Catherine Kaputa, an advertising executive turned personal branding strategist and author of You Are a Brand! “In the world of branding, being a general jack-of-all-trades gets you nowhere.” Make sure to keep this in mind when building your personal brand. Your professional head-shot, video and social networks should all represent the same, unified brand – you at your best.
We have AIRS certified online recruiters who can help you with temporary staffing or direct hire search services! Menlo Partners Staffing, a Peninsula based employment agency (650)752-6193.