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:
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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