6 steps for perfecting personal branding

personal branding

Personal branding isn’t just for celebrities who endorse products. Think of your career as your own personal brand and use these tips to help you find and secure a job.

Double check your digital footprint

Personal branding is directly linked to your digital footprint – all the online data that’s associated with you, from social media posts and photos to online forum comments. A 2017 survey from CareerBuilder found that 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates, so it’s well worth making sure your footprint reflects the professional image you want to convey!

Before you go into panic mode and try and go completely “off grid” with apps like justdelete.me, consider that the survey found that 57% of employers are less likely to hire a candidate they can’t find online. A much better plan is to approach your online presence through your own personal branding with these 6 tips.

1. Check out the competition

Check out the profiles of other professionals in your industry for tips on what information to include in your profiles, such as keywords that recruiters might use when they’re hiring.

2. Google yourself

Google yourself to assess your current digital footprint, and use several search engines for a more accurate result. Remove any inappropriate material and adjust the privacy settings on your personal social media accounts. You’ve heard it all before and the stats back it up – dodgy posts and photos can jeopardise your job opportunities, with 57% of surveyed employers revealing they decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profile. You can find some great tips on prepping your social media profiles before a job hunt at Onward Search and GradAustralia.

3. Create some non-social media

Create a website or LinkedIn account that includes your resume, a brief biography and links to other media platforms you use professionally. Describe your skills and experience, draw attention to your accomplishments and share examples of your work portfolio (particularly effective for writers, creatives, programmers and designers).

Check out the best LinkedIn tips for job seekers here, or consider other industry-specific platforms, such as ResearchGate (aka LinkedIn for scientists). Other simple web design options include Wix, WordPress and Squarespace.

personal branding

4. Think before you post

Every tweet, blog post or status update you create online contributes to your personal branding, so be strategic about what you post. It can make a big difference to your online image – surveyed employers nominated the online evidence of certain traits as particularly favourable in their candidates, including information supporting their professional qualifications, great communication skills and creativity.

Sharing interesting websites, articles and news is a great way to share your interests. It shows that you’re switched on about new opportunities in your field and the broader community. Make sure the links and images you share are appropriate, relevant and thought-provoking, and avoid sharing anything that will reflect badly on you!

5. Get a leg-up on job listings

Not every job vacancy is posted as an advertised position! Job listing platform Indeed recently reported that job postings have their limitations as metrics for gauging the job opportunities out there.

Employers are increasingly using social media as a recruiting tool. Take advantage of the job postings that are posted on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ and even Instagram and Pinterest. You can also keep up to date on potential job opportunities through industry blogs, newsletters and discussion boards.

6. Dress the part

Your clothing is a visual representation of your personal brand, so think about what you’re wearing in the images you post online. For more inspiration on professional dressing, visit The Muse. You might also like to check out some online employee biographies at the companies on your career radar to give you some ideas about how the current employees dress.

Larissa Fedunik-Hofman

Author: Larissa Fedunik-Hofman

Larissa is the editorial assistant for Careers with STEM and a Chemistry PhD student. Larissa’s goal is to promote public engagement with STEM through inspiring stories.

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