Personal Branding for Job Seekers - Developing a Personal Brand for Your Job Search

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When it comes to job searches, a personal brand is a powerful asset that you can use to your advantage to boost your professional reputation, showcase your skills, and grow your network with invaluable connections.

Personal branding can open many doors for you in your career, and it also makes you a more seasoned professional in your respective industry. Building a personal brand is challenging. It takes discipline, a willingness to improve and learn, and expertise—all traits that improve your resume and credentials for a job search.

If you are considering building a personal brand as a way to help with your current job search, or to build a platform that will support  your long term career goals, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this blog post, we discuss how you can develop and use personal branding when on a job hunt.

Personal branding tips for job seekers covered in this blog post:

  1. Benefits of Personal Branding for Job Seekers
  2. Tips for Developing a Personal Brand for Your Job Search
  3. Personal Branding for Job Seekers Frequently Asked Questions

Benefits of Personal Branding for Job Seekers

  • Increased Exposure to Job Opportunities
  • Demonstrating Your Skills and Expertise
  • Developing a Reputation in Your Industry

Before you get into the how-to aspects of developing a personal brand for your job search, you should first understand the value a personal brand offers. Let’s discuss the benefits of personal branding for job seekers.

Increased Exposure to Job Opportunities

A strong personal brand gives you more exposure to job opportunities because of your expanded network. These opportunities can come via several avenues, including having a greater chance of being connected to recruiters, potential employers, hiring managers and industry peers who may refer you to job opportunities. The larger the network and audience you build for your personal brand, the greater chances you have of finding job opportunities. 

Demonstrating Your Skills and Expertise

Personal branding requires content creation, and that content creation gives you proof of your skills and talent to show on your resume. For example, if you build a blog, create and sell digital products like courses and ebooks, or create an ecommerce side business, those are all projects you can include on your resume that demonstrate skills like writing, ecommerce, and business strategy

Your content and personal brand projects represent proof of your expertise. This can be your ticket to a new job position because recruiters and potential employers will have a practical demonstration of your skills and knowledge. 

Examples of personal brand related initiatives that look great on your resume (or LinkedIn profile) include: 

  • Writing ebooks to demonstrate your industry expertise
  • Writing articles and blog posts to demonstrate your industry expertise
  • Creating your own podcast episodes, or joining podcasts from other creators in your niche
  • Posting content that shares insightful commentary
  • Offering tips and sharing your learnings for others in your industry in a way that positions you as a leader and mentor
  • Creating side hustles and businesses that demonstrate strategy and execution, such as monetizing your personal brand through creating products and offering professional services

These types of personal branding activities all showcase your work ethic, skills, and knowledge in a similar way to how a full time job, internship, or educational credential does. This makes them great additions to your professional profile as a job seeker.

Related: The Importance of Personal Branding

Developing a Reputation in Your Industry

Becoming a thought leader in your industry is another benefit of personal branding that can set you apart in a job search. For example, when applying for a job, a potential employer is far more likely to be impressed by someone who demonstrates passion and knowledge in their respective field than someone who doesn’t make these qualities as apparent. 

Activities like posting content regularly on LinkedIn, creating podcasts, writing blog posts and ebooks, and other avenues of participating in industry conversations all present you as an invaluable potential hire, and expert in your respective field. 

These types of activities also are closely tied to the benefit mentioned above of network expansion, as creating content and contributing to conversations sparked by industry peers not only improve your reputation, but also increase the number of quality connections you can make.

Related: Personal Branding Action Plan - Checklist + Complete Guide for Starting Your Personal Brand

Personal Brands Fuel Professional and Personal Development

In addition to showcasing your skills, personal branding also develops your skills. From stepping out of your comfort zone as an introvert by expanding your network or speaking publicly to learning business skills via your entrepreneurial side hustle, personal branding forces you to build tangible skills and grow as a professional. 

For example, if you are a marketing professional who runs a side hustle in the form of an ecommerce store, you are learning skills like digital marketing, customer service, product development, product marketing, and ecommerce platform expertise. These skills would have a direct benefit to your full time job as a marketing professional in this example. 

Working on your personal brand and its associated project will improve your tangible skills as well as your soft skills like leadership and communication. Watch as this personal and professional growth benefits both your side hustles and your career as you learn and grow outside of your fulltime job role.

Related: Examples of Personal Brands: 5 Personal Brand Examples From Creators Who Built Huge Audiences and Successful Businesses

Tips for Developing a Personal Brand for Your Job Search

  • Create a LinkedIn Profile
  • Create Content Regularly on LinkedIn 
  • Engage With LinkedIn Posts From Thought Leaders in Your Industry

Now that the benefits of personal branding for job seekers are clear, let’s talk about the tangible ways you can build a personal brand for your job search with these personal branding tips.

Create a LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is one of the top marketing channels for building a personal brand. And when it comes to personal branding for job seekers, it is the absolute top option. Whether you are a seasoned professional looking to take the next steps in your career trajectory, or a college student seeking your first full time job role in your new field, LinkedIn stands to serve as a key tool in the search for your ideal job role. 

LinkedIn’s growing network of professionals across industries is made up of hiring managers, recruiters, and potential colleagues—all constituents who would be invaluable additions to your professional network if your personal brand goal is to seek job opportunities.

In order to properly leverage LinkedIn for a job search, the first thing you should do is optimize your LinkedIn profile. Similar to the way in which platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube offer the ability to customize your profile, LinkedIn offers opportunities for you to add content like a profile picture, cover image, and a professional bio. 

In addition, LinkedIn goes well beyond these standard fields with additional fields you can fill out to showcase your skills, experience, and personal brand attributes:

  • Profile photo
  • Profile cover photo 
  • Headline - appears directly below your name in search results and at the top of your profile
  • About section - written content field where you can include your professional bio or personal brand statement
  • Featured posts - choose your best posts to highlight at the top of your profile to demonstrate your content creation skills and best projects
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Certifications and course credentials 
  • Recommendations you’ve received
  • Publications you’ve written
  • Interests - pages, topics, and groups you follow on LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s array of different profile content fields offer a lot of opportunity to showcase who you are, what you are capable of, and what skills you bring to the table to a potential employer. 

Take advantage of these fields by ensuring you fill them all out, and fine tune the nuances of the way your personal brand is presented in them.

Related: LinkedIn Post Examples to Add to Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy

Publish Content Regularly on LinkedIn 

With LinkedIn being the epicenter of the job search and recruiting marketplace, publishing content regularly on the platform is a great strategy for elevating your personal brand and improving your chances of securing interest from potential employers. 

By sharing your thoughts and advice from your professional experiences you can show off your expertise and establish yourself as a known quantity in your field. The more content you have out there, the more likely you are to be seen by the right people. 

To accomplish this, try setting mini personal brand goals that stack up to your long term personal brand goal of securing job opportunities. For example, you could commit to posting on LinkedIn once per week, and publishing a LinkedIn article once per month. A more aggressive goal could be to post on LinkedIn 3-5 times per week, and publish one new LinkedIn article every weekend. 

Set a content publishing cadence that is right for your schedule and bandwidth while keeping in mind that the more quality content you produce, the stronger your personal brand will be, and the better the likelihood you will secure your desired job role.  

Related: Personal Branding Checklist - Essentials Every Personal Brand Needs [Free Guide + Examples]

Engage With LinkedIn Posts From Thought Leaders in Your Industry

As mentioned above publishing content at a regular cadence is critical to personal brand growth. However, personal branding is not all about publishing because it is not a one way street. 

Two way communication and engagement with your audience is not only critical to your personal brand growth, it is a personal branding mistake to approach your brand from a one way communication perspective.

Simply publishing content and failing to respond to comments, not thanking people for engaging with your posts, and rarely engaging with content from others will both inhibit your brand growth, and discourage people from wanting to engage with your own content. 

To avoid this, make engaging with other people’s LinkedIn posts a part of your personal brand strategy. 

Engaging with other people's content on LinkedIn will help you build genuine connections and relationships, and increase the likelihood that people reciprocate and engage with your own content. By commenting on and sharing other people's posts, you can show that you are interested in their thoughts and ideas, and you can also expose your own content to a wider audience. 

Engaging with content from peers and thought leaders in your niche also keeps you up to date on the latest industry trends and allows you to learn from others' experiences. Actively participating in your LinkedIn community by not only publishing your own content, but also engaging with other people's content, builds a positive reputation and showcases your expertise.

Make your personal brand growth a two way street by engaging with other people’s LinkedIn posts.

Related: Tools for Personal Branding: Best Marketing Tools to Add to Your Personal Branding Toolkit

Build Your Personal Brand on Other Platforms

We talk a lot about LinkedIn in this blog post—and for good reason. LinkedIn is an obvious choice for many job seekers in terms of platforms where you can gain high ROI by developing a personal brand for your job search. 

However, there are plenty of other platforms where building a brand is beneficial for helping you find your next job. And there are platforms that might be a far better fit than LinkedIn for your career development depending upon your field.

Examples of other platforms you can build a personal brand on to support a job search include:

  • Twitter - Twitter is another platform with an active professional community where you can publish content, develop relationships, and gain exposure to job opportunities 
  • Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok - If you are a visual creative, these platforms may be a better fit for your skills and target audience. For example, if you are a photographer looking for your next gig, building a curated Instagram feed of your best photography work and building out your profile with a link to your portfolio may be more beneficial in your job search than LinkedIn would be 
  • Starting a newsletter - Newsletters are an awesome content type and platform for showcasing your work and expanding your network
  • Starting a blog - Writing on a platform like Medium or creating your own website to host a blog are examples of another platform where you can build an engaged community that benefits your career 

If any of these channels resonate with you more than LinkedIn does, then by all means focus your efforts on that channel and develop a strategy that best fits your respective professional goals, skill set, and niche. 

Personal Branding for Job Seekers Frequently Asked Questions

What is personal branding for job seekers? 

Personal branding for job seekers refers to the process of developing a unique and compelling personal identity that differentiates you from others professionals in the job market. By improving your reputation in your respective niche and expanding your network, it helps you to stand out and make a positive impression on potential employers, recruiters, and peers who may offer you a job referral.

Why do you need a personal brand when searching for a job? 

While you do not need a personal brand when searching for a job, having one increases your chances of securing a new job. A personal brand makes you more visible and memorable to potential employers, demonstrates your skills and expertise, and exposes you to more professional opportunities.

What steps can you take to craft your own personal brand for your job search?

To craft your own personal brand for your job search, you can start by creating a foundation that communicates your unique strengths, skills, and accomplishments. You can then use personal branding activities like content creation and network growth to create a unique, credible, and visible persona in your respective niche. 

To get started, try using a personal brand audit or personal brand strategy framework that contains tangible activities you can use to put in place the foundational aspects of your personal brand. These include things like your target audience, desired personal brand attributes, and a personal brand statement that articulates the value you offer to potential employers and industry peers.

How would you create a personal brand that enhances your job search?

You can create a personal brand that enhances your job search by first identifying your ideal job role and potential employers. From there, you can craft a personal brand narrative that demonstrates the value you offer in such a position and showcase it on platforms like LinkedIn, your resume, or portfolio website. Once you’ve established the foundation for a personal brand that enhances your job search, increase its visibility through regular content creation and engaging with industry peers to expand your network and exposure to job opportunities.

Final Thoughts on Developing a Personal Brand for Your Job Search

A personal brand is an invaluable career asset, serving as a career safety net in case you are in need of finding job and revenue opportunities, as well as serving as a tool for any future job searches. Use the tips and benefits discussed in this blog post about personal branding for job seekers in order to assess and plan your own job search related personal branding initiatives.

Bonus Personal Branding Tips and Insights

About the Author

Hi, I'm Justin and I write Brand Credential.

I started Brand Credential as a resource to help share expertise from my 10-year brand building journey.

I currently serve as the VP of Marketing for a tech company where I oversee all go-to-market functions. Throughout my career I've helped companies scale revenue to millions of dollars, helped executives build personal brands, and created hundreds of pieces of content since starting to write online in 2012.

As always, thank you so much for reading. If you’d like more personal branding and marketing tips, here are more ways I can help in the meantime:

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