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The what, why and how of building your personal brand

Your digital footprint has an impact on your suitability for a position.

Today, almost every individual has a personal brand.

Your industry reputation, the impression you make on people, skills, experience and your digital footprint now have a significant impact on your suitability to a potential employer.

As specialists in recruitment, our team actively assess the personal brand of every candidate that walks through our doors—and we have a unique vantage point. We have touchpoints across many industries and meet numerous people daily, so we’ve become quite adept at understanding an individual’s brand and identifying whether these align with a potential employer. Finding the right fit for our clients is absolutely key.

Regardless of your age or position, the business or industry you are working in and the stage of your career, it’s important to take your role as a marketer of your company (i.e. you) seriously.

A man focused on his online personal brand

What is your personal brand?

Is it the way you dress at work each day? Your skills? Or the way you’ve presented your LinkedIn profile (or whether you have a profile at all)?

The answer to all of these questions is yes.

Your personal brand is how you promote yourself and the way you differentiate yourself from other people. It’s the way you tell your story, the words you speak, your attitudes and values, and the impression people gain from your online presence, in addition to your unique skills and experience.

Why is your personal brand so important?

When you apply for a role it’s guaranteed that the recruiter will type your name into Google to check your online reputation and digital footprint.

Try doing this yourself. What information is displayed? Are there photos or other information that doesn’t do you justice as a job seeker?

Remember, the information you see is also visible to a potential employer.

In our experience, candidates can and have been declined positions due to their Facebook profiles alone.

Five key techniques to build your personal brand

Your personal brand needs to encompass all the places where your potential employer could encounter you and the secret to a good personal brand is consistency.

So, try these top five tips to refine and improve your personal brand.

  1. Find a way to differentiate yourself

Firstly, think about how you want to be known and how you can differentiate yourself from other competing candidates. The activities you participate in outside of a job, how you present, and the thoughts your share on LinkedIn are all unique to your personal brand and should accurately reflect your career aspirations.

  1. Review your online presence

Does it reflect well or poorly on your brand? Most importantly, consider making changes to your Facebook profile or making it private so potential job searchers can’t look at your history and extracurricular activities. And if you are mentioned negatively somewhere, see if you can have that information removed or work to override it with positive content.

  1. Make LinkedIn a big part of your game plan

Refine your LinkedIn profile so it truly reflects your aspirations and achievements. Add examples of work and outcomes to your profile and approach relevant people and past/present colleagues for a recommendation. Make sure you actively participate in your LinkedIn community by joining groups and posting and sharing articles. Share interesting news relevant to your industry and connect with people who could benefit your career. And your profile image must be professionally presented.

Short on time? Don’t worry! We’ve got ‘Four quick tips to refresh your LinkedIn profile‘.

Networking and community is important for your personal brand

  1. Attend relevant networking events

Get your name and face out there by attending events where critical contacts in your field meet. Add connections you make to LinkedIn. If you enjoyed the insights a speaker provided at an event, reach out and connect and provide positive feedback on LinkedIn.

This kind of constant networking is important even when you’re happy with your job role. We tackle why here, ‘Why it’s important to update your LinkedIn profile as a hiring manager‘.

  1. Book catch-ups with people you want to meet

Another great way to build your brand and connections is through a tried-and-tested coffee catch-up. So you might block out half an hour every week or fortnight and reach out to someone through your work, professional network or even LinkedIn for a coffee. This tip can do wonders to expand your professional network.

In short, each of us has the ability to create a distinct and unique personal brand. So stay true to yours and it will help strengthen your career.


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