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In today’s increasingly competitive job market you need to work harder than ever to be noticed. With such a high number of applications received for many jobs, companies sort through them with ruthless efficiency but having a good personal brand can make you stand out.
Most people have digital footprints and recruiters are increasingly turning to them to vet or find candidates. This means having a polished and multifaceted online presence is essential for any effective personal brand, so jobseekers need to understand how they can utilise social media, networking and personal websites to get ahead.
With this in mind, here are few tips to bear in mind when constructing your personal brand:
Cleaning up your social profiles
A staggering 69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate because of something they saw on social media, so it makes good sense to ensure yours is squeaky clean.
Removing images or posts from Facebook and Twitter which might cast you in a poor light is a good way to start polishing your online presence. Reviewing your privacy settings is also important as you’ll be able to restrict what potential employers see when they make their searches. However, a recent survey suggests that you shouldn’t be too restrictive with your social profiles as 35% of recruiters are less likely to interview someone who has no internet presence at all.
If you have a Twitter account, make it work for you, insightful tweets about your industry’s latest developments, news and events or linking to relevant articles, can show you are knowledgeable and informed. The same rules apply to Facebook and Instagram.
LinkedIn is a brilliant personal branding platform, not only for showcasing your professional experience but also for networking with other influencers and industry leaders. Make sure your profile is full of relevant information such as employment history, experience and skills as well as recommendations from colleagues and managers.
Creating a personal blog or website
If you google yourself, the results might throw up some less than flattering information. However, by having a personal blog or website, you can direct recruiters to it and show them the information you want them to see. People tend to click on the first five results in Google so ideally, your own site should appear in at least the top three.
The site itself could be a simple About.me page, or you could try and create a content hub using industry related articles and opinion pieces that are relevant to your industry and job search. Not only will this show you are knowledgeable about your sector, but it will also show that you can write well and are motivated to succeed.
Understanding how to network effectively
Networking both on and offline is still an essential tool in today’s job market as 60% of jobs are still found through the process.
If you’re about to head to an event, make sure you have a short pitch ready to introduce yourself with and always remember to carry business cards. At the event, try and avoid attempting to charm everyone in the room and instead pick four or five key people who you can have genuine and meaningful conversations with about industry news and trends.
After the event, don’t forget to cultivate your relationships and keep conversations going by following up with a short and casual email or a LinkedIn invite.