On the tenth ‘Day of Kforce’,
From our staffing company,
Ten personal branding tips!
Think of the last time you went to the grocery store, why did you buy one type of product over another? From packaging to performance, everything plays a part in the consumer decision. It’s all about branding! The same holds true for your job search. In a sea of job seekers, how can you differentiate yourself? Cara Barone, Kforce Social Media Marketing Manager, offers ten tactics to create a distinguishing personal brand.
1.) Be consistent
The first step in creating your personal brand is identifying your end goal. Once this is determined, be consistent with your actions and messages. Everything from your summary statement on your resume, networking conversations and LinkedIn headline should be anchored with one clear theme. Different goals require different actions, but in all that you do, people should be able to identify the same message.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your goal?
- What do you do?
- What do you want to do?
- How do you want to be identified?
- What do you want to be known for?
2.) Be clear and concise in your elevator pitch
Once you determine your goals you can begin crafting your “elevator pitch”. Using the above questions, you should be able to briefly and clearly discuss who you are to anyone at anytime. Keep it professional, this is not the time to discuss personal matters like family or relationships.
Information to mention:
- Your name
- Your current or previous employer
- Your role
- The value you offer as an employee
- Something specific to set you apart
- A call to action (always be prepared with a business card or be ready to exchange contact information)
3.) Be proactive
Recognize that anything can be a networking opportunity. By-and-large, personal references are the preferred method of hiring. Companies are more likely to make a hire that can be vouched for by a current, trusted employee. Everybody knows somebody, so consider leveraging your own contacts. Reach out to these people in-person, at events, and through social media using your elevator pitch to explain your career goals.
4.) Be social savvy
Cover all your bases on social media. While your focus may be on LinkedIn, don’t discount Twitter or Facebook as possible forums to make connections and share your messages. Decide which networks you will be utilizing and focus on them. With so many social sites, it's difficult to be everywhere!
Whatever site you are using, keep the following tips in mind:
- Always be professional in your picture(s), comments and posts
- Be compelling in the information you post
- Make sure your profile is up-to-date
- Make sure your profile is public and able to be easily found and connected-to
5.) Be the expert (online)
Become the expert in your field, there’s no easier place than online. Join interest groups on LinkedIn and become active in them. Comment on public forums and ask questions of your own. Start a blog and post relevant content, then share it to your social profiles. Your information has the ability to go viral on the Internet, the more active you are, the more likely your name will get in front of hiring managers.
6.) Be active (in-person)
Attending local networking events is great, but don’t stop there. Think about how and where you can put your talents to use! Becoming active in your community can open up more doors to you. For example, local groups, clubs and boards often require a treasurer, manager for their social pages, etc... Get invovled and offer your services based on your skills and industry. Welcome the invitation to speak to a group of your peers or others wanting to break into your industry as well.
7.) Be resume-ready
This doesn’t mean you should be walking around with your resume in-tow. Rather, make sure it is up-to-date in the event you need to quickly get it in the hands of a hiring manager. It may take some tweaking and reorganizing to appeal to a specific company or position, but the most relevant, up-to-date info should already be included.
8.) Be professional in your “calling card”
Whether you are handing out a business or "job-seeker" card or simply emailing a new networking contact, your contact information should be professional. Your email address, while personal, should still be professional. Keep it simple and easy to remember, using your full name if possible.
9.) Be willing to continue your training and education
This doesn’t necessary mean attending graduate school, but rather you should recognize that in most careers, the environment is constantly evolving. Update your credentials, take certification classes, and attend seminars. You can even take some training on YouTube, while uncertified; it shows initiative.
10.) Be positive
Nine times out of ten, your attitude will be the most recognizable and memorable aspect of any interaction, both online and in-person. Is yours positive? Employers value a positive attitude now more than ever. Who wants to endorse, let alone hire, someone with a negative attitude?
Think of the job market like the supermarket. You are one product in a sea of others just like you. Your goal is to end up in an employer’s cart. But how do you get there? By determining your goals, creating a clear message, and using a consistent theme throughout everything you do, you can take steps to ensure your personal brand is an employer’s first choice!
Stay tuned for Day 11!
NINE Popular Interview Questions
EIGHT LinkedIn Job Search Tricks
SEVEN Things to Leave Off your Resume
SIX Job Search Steps for New Grads
FIVE Ways to Work with your Recruiter
FOUR Must-Join LinkedIn Groups
THREE Cover Letter Clues
TWO Interview Follow-up Tips
The ONE Thing Employers Want to See