Building your personal brand online can be just as important to your career as your resume. A personal brand can show potential employers that there is more to you than just your qualifications and your work experience. In this article, we outline five ways to build your personal brand for career success.
1. Start by Defining Your Personal Brand and Specialty
You should start your personal brand for career success by conducting a self-assessment. Your personal brand should be an honest reflection of you as you exist today and should also show where you are headed in the future. Your assessment will reflect your strengths and weakness as they match your current occupation, and how they relate to the career you see yourself enjoying in the years to come.
Ask yourself questions about who you are and write down honest answers. Identify the values and words that people would use to describe you if asked. Examine what things motivate you and what things you are regularly complimented on. Consider which activities are enjoyable for you and which drain your energy. Honest answers to your own assessment questions will help you become the best person you can be and to avoid trying to become someone you are not. Ask friends and family to help you with your assessment.
Focusing on a special skill set when creating your brand will also help you stand out from the crowd. If you do not yet have a specialty skill set, then plan on learning one. Whether that involves additional education, classes, or real-world experience, lay a course for how you will achieve expert status in your specialty.
2. Rewrite Your Resume As Your Bio and Update It Constantly
Consider your resume to be your bio for the purpose of your personal brand. Your resume is a bit more formal as a stand-alone document that you would use when applying for a new job. Boil the contents of your resume down into a short and powerful narrative that you can attach as your bio to your web profiles, blog posts, and other internet-based writing.
Your professional bio will also be an integral part of every application you make for freelance gigs or for speaking and presenting opportunities. Your bio should include your education and work experiences, published works, awards, community activities, and some personal interest information. Keep your bio up to date by including important events as you accomplish them.
3. Work on In-Person Networking
Networking with other people face-to-face is not just for when you are looking for a job. It is a full-time and ongoing process, even when you are not currently considering changing positions or careers. Networking provides insight into others’ career paths that you might never otherwise receive. Always seek out opportunities to meet new people in your business or industry.
Your personal brand will grow with every new relationship you make inside your industry. Attend as many conferences and social opportunities as possible and don’t be shy about introducing yourself and adding value to every new connection you make.
4. Create Your Personal Website and Blog
Your personal brand for career success often depends on your online presence, and you should be sure that it is engaging to the people in your industry who do the hiring at their companies. Your presence on a personal site as well across social media platforms should present a consistent message conveying your personal brand information.
Blogging is a virtually free way to present your personal brand in a creative and interesting way. Building a blog audience is a great way to broaden your network and build your brand. Blogging on a regular basis and using strong SEO tactics are the backbone of building a blog following. Also, focus on blogging about industry influencers (who might share your posts) and joining active and productive online communities.
5. Become an Expert Internet Networker
Internet networking is rapidly becoming the go-to process for people to seek out other people with similar professional interests. LinkedIn is the most commonly used internet networking tool. You can control your profile and personal branding information that will appear in searches for your profile on the site. This allows you to create a strong first impression of your personal brand for potential contacts.
Also maximize your presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks in order to drive a consistent message to your followers regarding your brand. Podcasts are fantastic for delivering branding information along with interesting material. The key to podcasting success, as well as other forms of internet networking, is to be persistent and consistent in delivering your message. You are not likely to hit the top of the charts overnight, but if you stick to it you may reach the tipping point on listenership.