21 Jun Building a Strong Personal Brand: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Job Market
When you’re applying for jobs, the last thing you want to think about is how many other people are in the same situation, sending in their resume for this same job and hoping for the best.
What can help you stand out during your job search is having a strong personal brand, something that sets you apart from the competition and helps to catch your next employer’s eye.
Here’s how to build a strong personal brand that makes you the one to watch.
- First, understand what a personal brand is. Just like companies have brands — the golden arches, the curvy bottle, the triangular chip — people can have and develop a personal brand, something that creates a sense of consistency, reliability, trustworthiness and recognition. Your personal brand establishes you as someone companies want on their team — you’re an expert in knowledge that pertains to your chosen line of work; you’re a trusted source of good information; you offer great, insightful commentary on relevant topics; you’ve established a community of respected friends and associates and an overarching sense of professionalism that follows you wherever you go.
- Decide which attributes will best help you stand out to employers. If you’re working in an artistic or creative field, you want to associate yourself with artistic and creative people. This means cultivating a visually appealing and interesting following and feed on Instagram, for example, while building an online portfolio of your own work that can be included in your resume. If you’re interested in technology, you’ve joined various groups and conversations about the latest twists and turns in that industry and have contributed to thought leadership conversations on LinkedIn and other professional platforms. LinkedIn is one of the most important social media platforms for professional networking, we all know, because it allows you to share the information you find interesting while also commenting and providing insight on pieces shared by others, all while connecting with professionals and experts in the same industry.
- Don’t be afraid to get involved. When you’re looking for a new job, and you’re realizing what you want to do or how you want to advance your career, the best thing to do is branch outside your routine and comfort zone. It’s time to take a class and add to your skill set, or build a new website showing off your work. Maybe there’s a local meet-up group that gathers regularly to discuss the latest hot topics in your field — join it and network with other like-minded individuals in person. Ask questions, online and in person, to show your interest and curiosity in a subject, then share the results along with your own commentary.
- Share your stories. Based on your line of work, or the work you want to get into, you might need to spend a little more time on social media. If you already have accounts, consider establishing one that’s only for professional use, where you share articles, research, thoughts, interesting pieces, etc., instead of photos of your friends and family or political or controversial banter. You want to establish yourself as an expert, or someone who is eager and enthusiastic about learning more, someone who is engaged with their industry and wants to bring others along on their journey. Social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for job searchers!
- Get some leadership or other professional training. Commitment to your job or your industry is of great interest to potential employers. It shows ambition, a desire to learn and grow and the ability to take initiative and learn if for nothing other than self-improvement. If you get certifications or other credentials as a result of this training, so much the better! Add it to your resume, your LinkedIn profile and anywhere else your professional education and work experience is listed.
Your personal brand will help tell your story. It will also help you catch the attention of employers who are utilizing passive recruitment methods in order to find job candidates — this entails looking at professional resumes, websites, portfolios and social media accounts to find people with the “right” experience and background for their open positions without the person having to take any action other than agreeing to a conversation.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a little extra help boosting your brand or changing your job, call LeadingEdge Personnel! Our experts can help introduce you to companies looking for someone with your background and experience. Take a few minutes to review the jobs we’re looking to fill right now, then give us a call!