Personal branding is what sets you apart. It’s what makes you more hirable – and more likable – than someone with similar qualifications. According to career experts, if you’re in the running for a new job, you will be Googled. Make sure you’re crafting a consistent, professional, and original personal brand across your social media platforms and into your job application materials.
1. Craft a brand statement
An objective statement – once a resume standby – is too self-focused to be persuasive to employers. Instead, your branding statement, or summary statement, is a brief introduction to an employer that discusses your skills, your uniqueness, and the ways you used these skills in the past. These are not resume objectives, but rather they describe who you are to an employer – demonstrating that you are not only one of many, but the only one for the job. Your brand statement should be included in all of your social media bios — from Facebook to Twitter to Linkedin — conveying who you are by incorporating your skills, your experience, and your expertise.
2. Network on multiple platforms
The best way to demonstrate personal branding is to show that you live your brand is by articulating your brand statement across multiple platforms. Use your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to demonstrate your branding. That means keeping your picture the same across multiple networks for consistency, as well as maintaining an identical, or at least uniform, “About Me” section too.
3. Keep your image the same across social media
As you update any profile to include your upcoming projects or accomplishments, be sure to post the information on all of your platforms. You can make this task easier by using tools like Hootsuite and Buffer that automate your posts across social media.
4. Be consistent, but don’t go overboard
Your social media pages don’t have to fill up with buttoned-up images or corporate speech. Part of the point of personal branding is just that: demonstrating that you are a person. Don’t be afraid to post about your favorite hobby or use your favorite expressions. However, your goal isn’t to be unprofessional. You don’t want to demonstrate how you like to get rowdy on your days off or inundate your followers with too many political rants. Instead, you want to demonstrate you are someone whom your future colleagues would like to be around all day.
5. Build a well-connected network
Once you have a killer personal brand across your social media platforms, you want others to see it. One way to do this is by joining LinkedIn groups to connect with others who focus on your field and expertise. You can also upload your email contacts into LinkedIn so you can connect with more people online using the “Add Connections” feature on the platform. Once you have a strong social network, you can ask your friends to introduce you to new contacts you think might be valuable to you. This way you can build your network – and your credibility. You can also follow hashtags on Twitter, so you can stay current and earn new followers.
6. Ensure your brand is evident on your resume
Your online persona might fit a position perfectly, but you want to make sure that fit is conveyed accurately in your resume. Don’t include a generic branding statement about yourself on each resume you send to employers. Instead, tailor your branding statement for each employer using Jobscan. Jobscan matches keywords from the job posting to keywords you’re including in your resume, and ensuring these match helps your resume make it through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Once you’ve seen which keywords on your resume don’t match the posting, Jobscan offers you advice on how to change your branding statement in a way that fits the employer’s requirements while still staying true to your brand.
Personal branding is important: it helps you create a cohesive version of yourself across platforms, build your social network, and demonstrate your value to a company. Most importantly, however, personal branding should be authentic to you – you’re not selling anything; you’re simply demonstrating your unique point-of-view.