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Are you worried that your personal brand is slowing you down and impacting your chances of progressing in your career. If so it might be worth looking at your personal branding toolkit, and making some changes so you can build your brand the right way. It is important that you are viewed the way you want, and that your reputation assists you at every step in your career. Strong personal brands incorporate multiple tools including blog posts, content, social media, personal websites, these are all tools you can use to build a positive personal brand.
In a world where competition for jobs is rife and companies are always looking for the best candidate, it is essential that you are presenting yourself – and your personal brand – in the best way possible. A good place to start is to take a look at your personal branding toolkit. Your personal toolkit should include the platforms, attributes and materials you use every day to give other people an idea of who you are and what you are about.
Here is a rundown of what you need to consider when building and maintaining a positive personal brand, and how to ensure your brand is the best it can be.
Your online presence – utilising social media and online platforms
Your online presence is an increasingly important element of your personal brand. In order to build your brand you need to have some sort of presence online. It is important however to think about what platforms or online resources are best suited to you and your needs.
For example, if you are hoping to build yourself as a thought leader, you may want to consider setting up a blog or sharing relevant content on their social media channels you set up. Alternatively, you may just want to network with likeminded business professionals. If that is the case, you may only want to consider setting up a LinkedIn profile and using it for work.
Here are a few pointers that should help you keep your online profiles up-to-date and engaging;
- Utilise social platforms that work for you: take advantage of the tools at your disposal; LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter can all be important factors in increasing your market presence.
- Create a blog: writing blogs is a great way of increasing your online profile. Pick topics that are relevant to you and the sector you are in, and ensure you share these across all your platforms where possible.
- Be consistent and keep your platforms up-to-date: You will not be able to build your personal brand if you fail to update your social media profiles. Log on, engage and regularly check your profiles. This will build your profile and could also help you keep up-to-date with industry topics.
- Do not say or do anything online that you would not do in real life: inappropriate content reflects badly on you and could impact your chances of securing a new role.
- Join online forums and groups to network with other individuals: LinkedIn and Google+ groups can be a base for great discussions and sources for advice about improving your career.
For more advice on getting your online brand up to scratch, check out our blog on establishing your online profile. Alternatively you can get in touch with one of our team or download our LinkedIn guide today.
Online etiquette – be careful what you say and how you act online
We all rely on technology to aid us in our job search. First impressions matter in person and online so it is important to keep these points in mind:
- Remember that you are searching in a professional capacity; keep your personal and professional profiles separate, avoid revealing any controversial opinions and make sure you are using a formal email address.
- Watch what you post on social media. If your social media profiles are not private, think about what you say, as you do not want to offend any prospective employers or customers.
- Write your emails with a face-to-face conversation in mind. You would not ask someone outright for a position – explain yourself, where you saw the job advertised, and why you would be a good candidate – and always thank them for their time!
Additional branding tools at your disposal
Your personal brand is not wholly determined by your presence online. You also need to ensure the way you look and act is on brand. There are also some more traditional tools that you may want to consider. Check out these additional tips for getting your personal brand career ready.
- Business cards are not a thing of the past: do not be fooled into thinking that technological advances have rendered the traditional business card useless. Face-to-face networking is still an excellent way of improving your personal profile and a business card is the perfect way to get your details across quickly and easily. If no one else is handing out their business cards you will stand out – it is a good sign of being prepared and eager to make new contacts.
- Your physical presence is vitally important: this predominantly refers to your working wardrobe. What first impression do you give to the people by the way you are dressed? Make sure you are always presenting yourself in a professional way and that it is reflective of the sector you are working in.
- Utilise your niche sector knowledge: if you are working – or looking to work – in a niche area or sector, make sure you communicate this through your personal brand. Ensure your business card and online profiles explicitly show your areas of interest and experience, and always dress the part. Also, ensure you are networking in groups and sharing content that is relevant to your target market, this is more likely to get you noticed.
- First impressions count: the old saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”, and it is still as true today as the first day it was said. This is also especially true in your working career. Treat everyone you meet as a possible client or customer, and you will be able to reap the rewards when that relationship pays off.
- Your body language says a lot about you: when you are meeting someone in person, it is important to have open and confident body language – uncross your arms, stand or sit up straight, and maintain steady eye contact when talking to someone. Even if you are not feeling particularly confident mentally, having self-assured body language will help you to feel more positive and in control of the situation.
- Think about how you sound: if you are on the job hunt, an important element to consider is answering the telephone, especially if that person could be a prospective employer. Always take a moment before picking up the phone, and then introduce yourself so they know they have reached the right person.
If you are still looking for advice on improving your personal brand we can help. Get in touch with one of our expert team today, or download our guide to developing your personal brand here. Alternatively, you can view more of our Candidate Resources – from establishing your online profile to interview advice here.