What is your personal brand telling prospective employers? Its time to “Google” yourself!
Personal branding is an integral instrument in the toolbox of every job seeker today. Your personal brand tells the story of who you are and what you have to offer to potential employers and can play a crucial role in the job searching process – when executed correctly.
With the proliferation of social networks and information available online it is possible for your reputation to proceed you and potential employers to know a lot more about you than the details you share on your resume. The demand for top talent and competition to secure employees with specialised skills and experience means increasingly organisations are going looking for potential candidates rather than relying solely on traditional job advertising.
Whether you are sought out by an employer or submit an application to a role they have available you can be sure of one thing – any future employer will do their due diligence and search online for anything they can find that tells them more about who you are. By now we all know that the damage that can be done by posting inappropriate pictures and posts on social networks such as Facebook – these images may have no immediate bearing on your workplace or job description but don’t expect that to matter, what you do in your own time matters to employers too and they will make decisions not to hire someone based on inappropriate online content.
There are other considerations though that are equally important but often overlooked. We encourage all job seekers to consider the following when evaluating their personal brand:
- LinkedIn – a professional network, which means your photo should be just that – professional! Consider a professional headshot or at least a photo which looks suitable for a corporate environment
- Think about the email address you use for communicating with recruiters or potential employers – it should be simple and using your name wherever possible, leave the nicknames or funny monikers for personal communications
- Listen to your own voicemail – do you sound professional and relatable?
- Google yourself!! You may be surprised what you find – information on the internet can stay around for a long time and there may be photos you forgot where there. Take control of your online image before it takes on a life of its own
- Evaluating your online image is not only about taking control of anything negative – it is an opportunity to market yourself so maximise the opportunity to tell your story to potential employers on professional networks such as LinkedIn
Managing your personal brand should be an ongoing process that continually evolves and may be time consuming but the investment is well worthwhile – a strong online profile may help to pre-qualify you for potential job opportunities and see you front of mind with future employers.
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