By Danielle Brantley
Gone are the days when submitting a cover letter and resume landed you an interview. These days, it takes much more to snag a hiring manager’s attention. Employers want candidates who stand out, online and offline. And let’s be honest, much like you do your research on them, they are doing their own Googling on you once that resume lands on their desk. Get a head start by establishing a personal brand for yourself. Not sure where to begin? Here’s how to market yourself online.
- Establish a social media presence.
You should have at least a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn profile. If you have social media accounts and are active on them, then you’re already ahead of the game. The next step is defining what your online presence is going to be. What are your interests? What type of career are you seeking? Follow those who are in your industry (or your desired industry) and see what they are discussing. Post about current events and trends, or interact with companies that you’re interested in. Be sure to keep a clean social media presence (no one wants to hire someone doing a keg stand as their profile picture) and have a purpose in mind when sharing content, rather than aimlessly tweeting links with no context around them.
- Monitor your presence.
Now that you’ve established your online presence, it is important to monitor it. Try to Google yourself. Is your name the first to pop up, or do you have to scroll down and find it? If your name is common, try adding a middle initial to differentiate yourself. Your goal is to get your name on the first page when an employer tries to search for you. Your online presence means nothing if no one can find you.
- Be authentic.
Credibility is everything, so make sure that your personal brand is an honest one. If you have a passion for something, create your personal brand around it. Don’t try to be someone or something that you’re not. If you have zero interest in science fiction, don’t try to write about it just to appeal to someone. The best personal brands come from people who are passionate about their industry and interests. Be yourself, but be unique in presenting that to the world.
- Create a personal website.
A personal website is a great way to stand out to employers, and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It should include your resume, portfolio (if you have one), links to your social media accounts and a brief bio. (Check out Wix.com to create your own free site!) A blog is also great for showcasing your interests as well as your writing capabilities.
- Remember to network.
Building a personal brand isn’t limited to your online presence. You have to get out there and have meaningful conversations with people in your industry. Get business cards and start attending networking events in your area. Just make sure you don’t go into an event or meeting blind, have a plan. Be able to articulate what skills, talents, connections and strengths you can bring into the table. Most importantly, always think about what you can do for someone and not what someone can do for you.
Building your personal brand is not easy and it takes time, but with these tips you will be well on your way to creating one that stands out and impresses employers. Have fun with it, but be professional because you never know who is looking.