A personal brand has to do with how you are perceived by others professionally. Everyone has a brand whether they like it or not. The real issue is whether or not you will take control of your brand and shape how you are perceived or allow others to come to their own conclusions.
One of the best ways to promote your brand is by developing a dynamic online presence since most employers are now sourcing and vetting candidates through this medium. If you are not online or if your online presence is less than stellar, that says something about your brand as well.
Here are some practical tips for job seekers who want to promote their brands positively:
1) Identify your unique qualities that set you apart from others in your field. One way to do this is to review what others have said about you over the years. No doubt you will start to see some repetition as you do this. Maybe you are known as a turnaround specialist, having entered underperforming companies or departments and returned them to financial solvency in a short period of time. Or maybe you are recognized as a sales leader, identifying new markets and seizing the opportunity to increase market share.
2) Determine what you want to be known for. After you have identified your unique qualities (there may be several), think about which ones you really want to market to a potential employer. There is no point in emphasizing skills that you no longer want to use.
3) Select a few social media sites that you plan to be involved in for the foreseeable future. You will spread yourself too thin if you try to become involved in too many different sites. My suggestion is that you choose the top three for job seekers: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. This will keep your online involvement manageable.
4) Interact on different social media sites with your brand in view. In other words, as you answer questions, tweet, or post news articles, think to yourself, “Does this promote my brand?” If the answer is no, you might want to reconsider before you post something that is off the mark.
5) Your profiles should promote and reinforce your brand. Your professional headline should summarize the essence of your brand succinctly. Your picture should reflect your brand. Any videos, blog posts, or documents attached to your profile should be part of your branding strategy.
By following these tips you can attract employers who are interested in your unique brand.