Let’s be honest here! Job hunting has never been an easy task. It can become challenging if you don’t understand how to brand yourself for the employers to notice you. Those who understand the importance of personal branding tips know that it is the best strategy to beat the competition. Obviously, employers will receive an overwhelming number of applications when they post a vacancy. What are the chances of standing out from the rest? How will you attract the recruiters’ attention to make it to the shortlist?
Therefore, it makes logic to do self-marketing, what we are referring to as personal branding, to attract the employer. In an article published on The Entrepreneur, the CEO of Sourcify talks about the reasons for personal branding. In the publication, he says “there’s too much noise to be conservative”. Therefore it is important to make a good first impression to get noticed.
In this article, we focus on some of the tips every job seeker should have when it comes to personal branding. Think of the business marketing strategy. Marketers will spend working hours coming up with a marketing strategy for their brand. Job seekers can copy from the marketers, and also come up with specific personal branding strategies. However, it is important to first understand the best approach for personal branding. So, what are the top tips for personal branding that job seekers need to have? Scroll down further to find out.
#1 Create Your Brand Identity
According to Shama Hyder a contributor on Forbes, You need to identify yourself as a brand in the market. Therefore, you should first consider the best brand identity that will suit you. What sought of a job are you searching for? What mark do you think should be created around your name? The brand name should identify your skills, values, and personality. A unique brand will help you own your space in the areas of interest. It is important that you perfect your skills and values to show/reflect what you strongly believe in. Of course, there is that strength that everyone says you rock at. This is where you need to build your brand around.
When you are creating a brand identity, you should first have a clear picture of your personal and the professional goals. These should be both the long-term and short-term goals. While coming up with the brand identity, you should ensure you identify something you will be comfortable doing. Make sure it is something you will be happy to spend hours doing every day. In order to create a brand identity you need to:
- Determine your emotional appeal
What are your personal preferences? Would you like to be an accountant or a financial manager? It is necessary that you determine the best brand name that will get you to the best job. Most importantly, let it be a brand name that you will be happy to be referred to by. Therefore, take a moment and come up with a name that will best suit you. Pay attention to what interests you and your skill set.
- Describe Yourself
After identifying your brand name, describe why people should seek your services and don’t forget to talk about the specific services you offer.
- Showcase Your Specialization
Make sure you showcase why you are a master in the specific area. This should be in line with your personal and professional goals. Find your style to ensure you are a unique person.
#2 Define Your Unique Value Proposition
A value proposition can be defined as a promise to deliver to the specific expectation of the recruiter. You need to communicate effectively to the potential employer that you possess the best skill set to meet the expectations for the role you apply for. In addition, you need to ensure it is a unique value proposition. If your value is not unique, it means you are offering the same value as the others. In business, the value proposition is what makes the customer want to buy a product. Therefore, marketers should think of the value proposition of their products and communicate the same to the customer. This is why before you add that item to the cart you first read the product description to determine whether it best meets your needs.
The same happens before the recruiter dials or sends an email to you inviting you for the interview. Therefore, you have to know the best way to make it to the list of candidates to be contacted. Even before you get a chance for a physical interview, you need to show a promise of value to the recruiter. This is why you need to have a unique value proposition statement on your application. To build a compelling value proposition, you should follow the following steps:
- Determine the requirements of the recruiter
When the recruiter advertises for a specific role, they give a set of functions that the role they are filling will be expected to perform. If you are applying for the specific role, then you need to understand what you are expected to do. If you are making a speculative application, then you need to determine what are the roles that interest you at the prospective company? Once you determine these, you can then proceed to step two.
- How do your skills meet the requirements of the recruiter?
Now that you understand the job requirements, it`s time to determine how your skills will meet the expectations. You need to brand yourself with unique skills that best meet the expectations of the recruiter. This is what will show the recruiter that you will make the best fit for the job and attract their attention.
- Determine your Competitive Differentiation.
In personal branding, you need to define how you are different from the rest of the people applying for the same role. The trickiest part of this is that you don’t know what skills the others possess. Therefore, you need to give a serious thought to what your best prospect needs and try as much as possible to meet the expectation. For example, make sure you list the highest qualification. Include a unique training and hobby that best matches the job and is rare in the market. You can also list the special goals you have and show a strong command of the language.
#3 Create an Online Presence
In this day and age, recruiters will search online when looking for new employees. To connect with these recruiters, you need to be found online. Therefore, it is imperative to create an online presence. Make sure you have a profile on all the major job market platforms. Through the online profile, you will showcase your key skills and experience. Do not forget about the online freelancing platforms. These are becoming a preferred hiring platform for many employers.
Create a professional page on social media platforms. For instance, a professional Facebook page is an important tool in personal branding. Another way of achieving online presence is having a personal Blog. For instance, if you are an accountant, you can use a personal website where you blog about accounting practices. As a rule of thumb, try as much to blog about topics relating to your career interests.
So, what are the important things to focus on when creating an online presence?
- Use a High Pitch in your “About Me” Page
In your online profile, your “About Me” Page should create an impression of who you are and what you do. Imagine this section as your three-minute chance to capture the interest of the prospective recruiter. Thus, you should focus on stating who you are and what you do. This should begin on a high pitch so that you attract the attention of the reader.
- Use Unique Links on Your Profile
The online profile should take the reader on an adventure. Therefore, on the work experience section, consider linking to additional websites that illustrate where you have worked and the projects you have been part of. For example, if you are a web designer, add links to the websites that you have designed. Through this, the readers will get a chance to learn more about you. This also offers a chance for the recruiter to see what you can do. If you are creating a professional profile on LinkedIn, you should have a link to the personal website to make sure the recruiter gets as much information as they wish. Ensure that every link shows work that you are proud of being part of.
#4 Network With Like Minded People
To build your personal branding make sure you network with people who share similar interests as you. The number one mistake that people make when pursuing career growth is failing to network with the right people. This includes both offline and online networking. Through networking, you will open doors for new jobs, and it also helps in getting new opportunities. There are different approaches through which you can start networking for career growth. These include the following:
- Offering Valuable Content To Your Network
You can become a guest blogger on a popular website. This gives you an opportunity to tap into an already established network. As you share the content with a new audience, you should add your social media platform links so that they follow you on the different platforms. This brings them closer to getting to know your skill set. Dan Schawbel, a guest blogger on Americanexpress.com, talks about how giving before you receive helps you in networking. According to Dan, people expect you to ask for help when you first meet. If you change this the other way round and offer them something they value, you have higher chances of winning favor from them.
- Ensure you are Active on Social Media
Follow the prospective employers, re-share, and like the content, they post on the social media platforms. As you show your interest, these companies will notice you and most likely follow you back. If you get a follow back from a prospective employer, then it means they will see what you post. This creates an interest in your skills.
#5 Audit Your Online Presence
Another and most important part of self-branding is auditing how well you are performing. You can use the different analytics tools to check the performance of your posts. Another technique is searching your name through the Google Search Engine. If your posts are getting a good number of likes and comments, it means your audience is growing. Check whether the responses are coming from prospective employers. Otherwise, it might be an indication that you need to re-strategize. The bottom line is that you need to pursue the best options that grow your personal branding.
Personal branding is important for career growth. Every job seeker should try the above personal branding tips. Remember that you need to follow the relevant audience. Also, it is important to maintain an active online presence to make sure you are connected to the already established network. An active online presence will also make sure you meet new potential employers. Share your profile widely and include an “about you” session on every post. There should be a link to your professional social media platforms also so that people who read your content can follow you. Finally, take advantage of the analytics metrics to track the performance of your blog posts. Through the analytics, you can also get to know who is reading your posts so that you can target them in a future post.
With the above personal branding tips, it will be possible to establish yourself. In the long-run, you can compete effectively for new jobs and attract prospective employers. Remember that you want to stand out from the crowd. Therefore, uniqueness is important in personal branding.