Everyone has a personal brand. Do you know what yours conveys to potential employers? When your name is Googled, what comes up? If you haven’t given much thought to your personal brand, here are a few ways to start building it:
1. Sign up for professional networking sites.
You may have been one of the people who thought Twitter was going to go away or that LinkedIn was pointless. But guess what? They’re not going away anytime soon. And the truth is, employers are using these sites more and more to get a feel for how potential candidates could fit in with their organization.
So go sign up for an account now! And don’t forget to completely fill in your profile or bio and include a picture. An account with minimal information or that looks fake isn’t going to convey professionalism.
2. Interact and collaborate with other professionals on networking sites.
It’s not enough to just sign up for these sites anymore. You need to use them to meet other professionals and continue growing as a professional. After all, networking is still one of the best ways to land a job. Using these online tools will allow you to grow your network with no geographical limitations.
3. Create a personal website or online portfolio.
Make yourself easy to find by registering your own personal domain name, ideally firstnamelastname.com. Utilize your site to display your resume, portfolio items, case studies, accomplishments, recommendations and contact information. Include your website URL on your business cards, e-mail signature and other networking sites to connect with potential employers.
4. Identify what makes up your “unique you.”
What sets you apart from the other professionals in your field? What accomplishments do you have that others don’t? These affect your personal brand. In order to nail an interview, you need to have a good grasp on what sets you apart from your competition.
5. Start a blog.
Blogging is a great way to grow your network, sharpen your writing skills and show that you’re a dedicated and capable professional. Identify your interests, passions and expertise and how you can translate that into a unique blog concept.
6. Network anywhere and everywhere!
Don’t limit networking to conferences and events. Talk with people in unusual places, such as at holiday parties or on the train. You never know whom you’ll meet and where it can take you. Don’t forget to bring along business cards wherever you go, and ask for theirs in exchange so you can follow-up later.