According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey 70% of employers screen candidates by checking their social media and 43% use it to check on current employees. Building a personal brand is important in a job search but also according to Harvard Business Review to “define the distinctive value that you bring to your career.” It gives you a template to articulate who you are and what you stand for and strengthens your connections and engagement with others in your firm and in your career specialty. How do you create your own personal brand?
Career Self Analysis
Figure out what drives you, who you are and what you want to accomplish as it relates to your career. What are your strengths and what sort of product or industry do you like working in. Where do these strengths best fit in your current organization or is there a disconnect there? What is your unique value proposition to your firm and your career? What do you do that makes you stand out?
Align with Your Company’s Goals
Analyze who is successful in your organization and what are the behaviors or skill sets that they have that make them successful. It might not be quantifiable skills like programming or modeling but an ability to build relationships or sell ideas or business solutions. Do the strengths of the leaders in your organization align with yours? Create a stakeholder map. Where does your path cross with your company’s influencers, and if it doesn’t, how do you change that scenario. Determine the ones you want to reach out to and find opportunities to learn more about them. What are their interests and their professional challenges? Are they involved in alumni networks, charities and personal or professional affiliations? Find ways to cross paths with them with your personal brand.
Make Yourself Visible
If your career area is more sales or marketing, certainly a personal website or social media sites could play a part in marketing yourself. Maintaining those sites requires an organized, consistent strategy for the greatest impact. For some career paths those choices don’t make as much sense, but for every professional an updated and active LinkedIn profile is an easy and critical path to success. Fill out every section of your profile, use a professional headshot, use keywords and make sure you skills are clearly represented. Search out influencers on LinkedIn that work in your niche and leave one comment a week, at least, on an influencer’s post. Have a goal of one meaningful connection per week and one post per week.
Reach out for coffee with those in your organization you want to have a relationship with. Determine something your area of expertise can provide for them and ask to discuss it. Demonstrate a sincere interest in your colleagues through understanding what they care about and what problems they are trying to solve. If your current organization isn’t meeting your needs, reach out to interesting people on LinkedIn and establish a relationship with them. Build your personal brand today.
Building your personal brand may seem promotional but realizing your goals and pursuing the career that will make you the happiest are worthwhile and vital factors in your personal happiness and career success.