With the changing of seasons right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to give your job search a bit of a spring awakening. The deadlock of winter may have dulled your job search strategies, but it shouldn’t hold you back from going above and beyond to present yourself to an employer.
Usher in the new season by spending a little time focusing on the way you market yourself to employers and those within your industry. It’s easy to forget how important a well-established personal brand is to your job search when you’re settled in behind your computer scouring job boards and applying to positions. But developing and maintaining a professionally successful personal brand could be the key to saving your job search and ensuring a successful career.
A positive and effective personal brand can have a variety of benefits, from thought leadership in your industry to putting you on the top of the mind’s of potential employers when you’ve applied or networked your way to a position.
If you’re looking to refresh your personal brand, there’s a few things to consider to impact your job search:
Ask the hard questions. Enhancing your personal brand means asking yourself where you can improve and grow. Take a look at your brand from a variety of perspectives — the employer, the contact, the business partner, the co-worker, the customer — and hone in on what can be improved. Developing a 360-degree view of how you present and promote yourself will give you access into the way others view you — especially those who matter most to your career. Remember to be critical and don’t forget to build on the areas where you’ve been finding success.
Tie up loose ends. Remember the blog you’ve been meaning to start or the update to your business cards you so desperately need, and maybe even the LinkedIn group you keep forgetting to join. It’s time to check those personal branding activities off your to-do list. After you’re done finishing up everything you’ve wanted to do for your brand, create a list of personal branding pieces that could use an update. When was that last time you updated your LinkedIn profile or attended the weekly Twitter Chats you used to make a point to take part in? Turn over a new leaf by revamping the how and when you showcase yourself to others.
Assess your communication efforts. Building a personal brand doesn’t mean having the loudest and most outgoing voice in the room, it means knowing how to adjust your volume and who to speak with. Your personal branding success depends on how well you communicate with the right people. While you may be updating your social networks regulars, as well as engaging with your followers — are you really reaching the individuals who are going to get you hired? Seek out ways to communicate, as well as a variety of new people to communicate with.
Expand your network. Effective networking will get you hired. But without a strong personal brand, successfully meeting and connecting with others becomes more challenging. Your brand is your foundation for your skills, experiences, and values — influence your job search by looking for new connections to showcase your personal brand to. Attend a few seminars, set up informational interviews, or even cold-email a hiring manager.
Your personal brand can make or break your job search. Spring into a more beneficial job search by fine tuning what you have to offer.
What are some ways you plan to refresh your personal brand this spring?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.