We are living in times where countless people have lost their jobs over some careless comment they made on the internet. Now more than ever, success in the job market is determined not only by your specific skill set but also how you present yourself to the world.
What is a personal brand and why you should care about building it?
Your personal brand is essentially how you appear to the people around you. It’s your reputation and the impression you leave in the minds of others when they come into contact with you. What comes up when people search your name is part of your personal brand, whether the information is favorable or not.
Your online footprint will influence the decisions of those assessing you. So it definitely makes sense to create a strong personal brand that conveys the message you want people to associate with you. And now we are going to look at three steps you can take to do that with online job boards.
- Get crystal clear on your personal vision
This is perhaps the most important (and most overlooked) step in building your brand since it really sets the foundation for everything else.
You need to develop a clear understanding of who you really are and how you want your professional life to unfold in the future. Successful businesses create compelling visions and mission statements to guide their actions, and so should you.
To be successful at personal branding it has to be founded on authenticity. But in order to come across as authentic, you really have to get to know your true self first. So take a moment and consider the following questions to help you gain more clarity in your life.
What is my personal philosophy? What am I here to do? What’s my purpose? What do I want to be known for? What’s special about me? What are my core values? What am I willing or not willing to do for money?
Time spent on introspective thinking about who you want to be and where you want to end up is never wasted. This kind of clarity is important because it allows you to make better decisions.
For example, when hunting for a better job you can consult with your personal core values to make the best choice. You can move fast when you are given a new opportunity. Or you can easily tailor your message to the needs of the market. Which brings us to the next point.
- Know who you are targeting and distinguish yourself from your peers
Once you have a clear vision and purpose that’s guiding your actions, the next logical step is to get to know your target audience.
In today’s ultra-competitive job market it simply doesn’t pay well to be just another generic face in the crowd. Naturally you want to stand out. You want to be perceived as an expert and the right person for the job. But how do you go about doing it?
First, you need to keep in mind that in the professional world nobody really cares about you. The only thing they care about is what you can do for them. So think about who will be reading your profile and resume. Find out what they are looking for. Make an effort to learn about their company. Identify what their problems are. Then come up with ways to solve them. It does require some thinking and most likely you’ll have to make your brain sweat. But if you do that, it’s guaranteed to make your personal brand appear more respectable.
- Boost your credibility with online job boards
So far you’ve uncovered what makes you special relative to others and who you are targeting on your quest for career success. Most people’s brands are predominantly composed of their social media presence and likely they don’t exude professionalism. You can boost your credibility by signing up for an online job board such as Zigo that’s relevant to your industry or location.
Online job boards often have hundreds of people applying for the same openings. It might appear that it’s a race that’s hard to win. And for many people it is because they haven’t put much conscious effort into the critical task of building their personal brand.
However, you should also keep in mind that recruiters are constantly on the lookout for talent that stands out from the crowd. So make their job a little easier and build a quality presence on online job boards. Show them how your previous work has helped the company. If your actions have saved your company money or brought in additional revenue, show them numbers. Avoid generic ‘resume-speak’ that doesn’t really contain any facts. Be brief and specific because it usually gets rewarded.
The bottom line
There are many angles to managing your online presence, but using job boards in a thoughtful way to showcase your expertise and strengths is one of the most powerful things you can do for your personal brand. So what comes up when people search your name online? Is it random noise on social media? Or is it carefully selected and accurate information that boosts your credibility? Remember, in the online world perception is reality.