We all recognise a great brand when we see one, but branding goes beyond the look and feel of a product or service. It is the anticipation and expectation of the experience we will have when we engage with that brand. The same applies to your personal brand, so how do you build it and make it work for you in the jobs market?
When we think of what a brand is, names such as Apple, Nike, LEGO, Amazon and Marks & Spencer will typically spring to mind. Apple, for instance, is known for creating great looking products that just so happen to do great things too.
It is the ‘what’ you are known for that determines how your personal brand will be perceived.
Communicating this in a way that gets the attention of recruiters and hiring managers is actually easier than you might think, providing you are prepared to put the groundwork in first. Here are five ways that companies build their brands that you can use too to build your own personal brand and stand out to potential employers. .
1. Be social (and personable):
Social media is a great way to get on the radar of those looking for top candidates to fill the vacancies they have. Regularly posting and sharing content that is relevant to your line of work shows that you have your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your sector. But you also need to inject some of your personality into your posts, too.
Remember, recruiters and hiring managers place personality and cultural fit at the top of their candidate agenda. They want to get to know you
and they love to see what you do on the weekends and what your hobbies and interests are. This makes you more human and less of a robot intent on only selling himself or herself as a candidate of choice.
Be sure to engage with others too. Social networking is a two-way street, so show interest in what others are posting. This helps to create a human connection and could spark further conversations that might involve those looking to hire people just like you.
2. Post frequently:
It is estimated that each Tweet has a lifespan of 15-18 minutes. So the more frequently you post the greater the number of opportunities for you to be seen by recruiters. It is the same when it comes to LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a fantastic brand-building tool, providing you keep your profile updated and post content across relevant discussion groups. All of these actions are an opportunity to further enhance your personal brand and expand its reach beyond your own network of contacts.
3. Speak your mind:
One of the biggest elements of your personal brand is ‘thought leadership’ – the way in which you position yourself as someone who truly knows their stuff. It is easy to describe yourself as an expert in your field, to show you are is an altogether different matter.
Share your insights, knowledge and expertise with your peers, whether by writing a blog for the company website or creating your own blog, posting articles on your LinkedIn profile, or even speaking to the media. But remember to always respect your audience.
Each industry has its own trade publications, so if you think that you can add value to what is already being talked about in your sector then speak to the journalists or editors who publish such content.
4. Network, network, network:
We have all heard the saying that whom you know is as important as what you know, and it is true. While the very thought of attending a business networking event may send shivers down your spine, there is a very good reason why so many people do it – they get business and win jobs by doing so.
Many of these events are attended by recruiters and hiring managers looking to make new contacts and by attending you can get on their radar. So even if they don’t have a position available right now that is right for you, they may do so further down the line and as you will have already made a great impression they are more likely to approach you about that new role.
5. Tap into your values:
Every company has an employee value proposition – the thing that makes them an attractive proposition for candidates. The same principle needs to apply to you, so consider what makes you special, why should an employer want to work with you?
Once you are clear on your values and what you stand for, you need to work them into your elevator pitch – a 30-second synopsis of who you are and what you do, what’s important to you (your values), what excites you (your passions) and what your purpose is (your goals).
The process to building your personal brand is a continuous one. Every action you take is a chance to enhance it even further, and although the rewards may not be immediate at first the investment you make will pay dividends in the end.
Our recruitment team has helped many of Oxfordshire’s most talented candidates to find the best roles to meet their career ambitions. Can we help you?