Let’s face it, searching for a new job is basically marketing yourself. In broader terms, you are a brand and your work history is your product. And, even though you may not be Coke or Nike, positioning yourself as an established brand can put you at the head of line in your job search. Just follow these easy steps…
Establish Your Personal Brand
In the connected world, this is easy. Start by establishing your own web site and make it a promotional tool for you and your skills (don’t worry if you’re not a code writer, since setting up a web presence is as easy as setting up a WordPress or Blogspot account). Include your résumé, recommendations and/or testimonials from previous employers or clients and, if applicable, an online portfolio of your previous work. If possible, include video testimonials or even a promotional video highlighting your skills. Make sure everything you place on your website paints a clear picture of who you are, what you do and have done, and what you can offer a potential employer.
Polish Your Brand
Now, Google yourself and see what comes up. If your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts show up at the top of the list, make sure they all link to your promotional website. In addition, make sure everything on every one of those websites, reflects positively on you and your brand. In other words, as fun as Facebook may seem, there are some things that just shouldn’t appear there if you’re looking to enhance your brand.
Expand Your Brand
Coke and Nike are big brands because they’re everywhere. And, while being everywhere on the web is virtually impossible, there are plenty of things you can do to raise your profile and boost your Google ranking. Start by blogging. Blogspot and WordPress are both basically designed as blogging sites and, by commenting on news and events in your industry, you can establish yourself as an authority. From there, find and read other related blogs and don’t be shy about adding to the conversation. Doing so will further establish your brand presence and expand your web presence. Like all your social networks, make sure every comment reflects well on your skills and brand and links back to your website.
Sell Your Brand
With your web presence and authority established, it’s time to get your name out there the old-fashioned way. Attend meetings, workshops, and seminars in your field and don’t be shy about handing out your cards. Make sure to follow up new acquaintances with an email or even a written letter. Offer to speak to groups or present at conventions. Play up your awards, accomplishments, and other recognition that position you as an authority (both inside the office and outside your present employer). Just as Coke and Nike have grown worldwide, make growing your network an ongoing part of building your brand.
In today’s economy, brand awareness is what sells. And that’s why establishing your brand on the Net, in the office, and around town, can help raise your profile and put you at the head of the pack in your job search!