Personal branding is critical when you’re looking for your first internship. Or maybe now you’re over 50 and in the C-Suite. Same thing.
Personal branding is critical.
Today, older employee professional prospects, problems, and opportunities are in view. But personal branding is subtle, and it varies depending on your career stage and generation.
Coming Back: How to Get the Job You Want When You’ve Lost the Job You Need, by Fawn Germer, offers this: “The regulations changed for us, middle-aged people. We saw our parents start careers and gain respect, money, and opportunities as they grew older. Since we’ve been around the longest, many of us get paid the most, but management knows that younger, less expensive staff can deliver more because they’re tech-savvy and up on trends.”
It’s up to us to re-educate and re-brand. The bad news is it takes work. The good news is it’s not that difficult. Even taking a Zoom meeting can be a walk in the park.
Practical help may be needed.
So how can this age group keep their brand traits fresh, compelling, influential, and in demand in this new all-digital work world?
Whether you’re employed or looking for a new job, here’s how to maximize your chances of success and fulfillment.
Begin with the truth. Personal branding is always honest, not self-promotional.
“Personal branding doesn’t come naturally to many 50+ individuals – they aren’t used to advertising themselves,” says Wendy Marx, author of Thriving at 50+ and personal branding coach. Credentials and experience, they think, speak for themselves. Your brand is being authentic while being approachable and engaging.
The five steps below help you highlight your unique selling points, demonstrate your knowledge, and radiate true confidence while removing perceived barriers.
1. Mindset Mastery
Yes, we know that age discrimination exists in recruiting and promotion. We also know that focusing on how unfair the workplace can be to those over 50 puts them at a disadvantage. “On the back foot,” which comes from cricket, is to place weight on your rear foot when playing defense.
That won’t work in a career or anywhere else. Instead, be optimistic and put your best foot forward. These messages should be your mantras:
- My extensive expertise sets me apart.
- I have years of expertise that offer me an edge over newer professionals.
- My self-assurance and confidence help me deal with change.
- I have a history of providing outstanding results.
2. Developing Digital Skills in Branding
If you’re over 50, you weren’t born with keyboards that opened up the globe. Regardless of role, function, or age, every employee must be internet knowledgeable and digitally fit.
Nowadays, every job is digitally enabled. You want to have digital awareness for careers in market research, customer support, and sales.
“Employers need to know you’re as technically skilled as someone 20 years younger,” says Resume.io.
Include the latest tools and platforms in your CV to demonstrate your knowledge. According to The Knowledge Academy, it can take as little as ten days to learn a new technical skill!
3. Making a Strong First Impression with Your Brand
First impressions we form with new employers in our modern-day are now online.
People that wish to check you out will use Google. And Google knows who you are.
People who check out your online ID will want to meet you if you are vibrant, innovative, confident, and engaged. Start with your LinkedIn About as prospective employers will read it the most. Do whatever you can to boost your online reputation and likeability.
4. Becoming Socially Aware
One approach to demonstrate your digital health is via social media.
Pretend for a moment that you can build a solid online social media presence in as little as nine minutes per day if you commit to doing so consistently.
You also do not need to be a member of Tik Tok, Instagram, Slideshare, LinkedIn, Facebook, or YouTube to participate. Target your target audience on LinkedIn (the most successful professional social networking site) and one extra technique to maximize your results. It’s an absolute must-have for your brand.
5. Using HQ Video
You’ll be doing a lot of video interviews if you’re job hunting. The interview itself is an opportunity to demonstrate your familiarity with the most common type of commercial communication.
With video, you will stand out in all the right ways. Asynchronous video (Webex, Google Hangouts) and synchronous video (Zoom meetings) demonstrate thought leadership. Use video messages from you sent to people on your team, clients, etc.
People who have video meetings frequently aren’t necessarily very good at it. Preventing an on-camera disaster is critical!
The mindset of being 50+ is a career asset. Use these tactics to make your brand all about one thing. Namely, you provide something unique and valuable.