Advancing your online persona is key to finding your next position.
Whether you realize it or not, we all have our own personal brand – from the way we present ourselves on social media to the content of our LinkedIn profiles. This brand is how we attract visitors to our profiles and how we open ourselves up to opportunities. These days it seems like personal branding is more important than ever, and you may be able to guess what has caused this: the ongoing worldwide pandemic.
With more people at home, there has been a greater focus on polishing personal brands and the way we present ourselves on the internet. However, this is not a new concept. Personal branding has always been an important thing to consider. Let’s dig into why and how personal branding is more important than ever and why you should make maintaining your personal brand a priority.
In the past year, many people experienced being made redundant from their jobs when they least expected it. Additionally, many of those that were secure in their jobs might have forgotten to keep their professional profiles up to date. This is where your personal brand becomes extremely important, as facing a job loss means you need to reflect on several key elements. For example:
- Skills you’ve gathered
- Your workplace accomplishments
- What you loved about your previous job
- What you’re seeking in your next job opportunity
All of these factors can be expressed as part of your personal brand, and expressing them can assist in building a strong network of people that can help connect you with your next opportunity.
Okay, But How?
The most popular professional network in today’s digital landscape is, of course, LinkedIn. Utilizing this platform is the foundation for building and maintaining a professional personal brand. It is important to keep your LinkedIn profile updated, showcasing your experiences, skills you’ve developed and professional certifications you’ve obtained.
Other ways to engage with LinkedIn and expand your personal brand include:
- Make sure to engage with the network on your feed by liking, commenting, and sharing their work, particularly when it is relevant to your field.
- Produce your own content and share it to your feed to promote feedback and conversation. This can be through imagery, a blog post, an article, a video, or any way you want to express yourself and your passion – this shows connections and recruiters that you engage in the field you want to work in, and therefore strengthens your personal brand.
- Connect with professionals working in your target field and spark a conversation. Introduce yourself as someone confident and passionate about what you do, which will reflect in your LinkedIn profile. This is a great opportunity to expand your network, discuss what you are seeking in your next role, and potentially learn about openings that might be of interest to you. Also, if you establish a strong rapport with connections in your network, you may be able to get a recommendation of someone else you can reach out to within your shared field of work. This will allow you to begin to build a strong network which reflects onto your personal brand.
Keep in mind that in addition to reaching out to others, it is also important to give back. Another way you can build your personal brand up is by helping others. A few ways to do this include giving someone useful advice, endorsing them for the skills listed on their profile or simply sharing their work, giving them more exposure. This is something to keep in mind as you cannot expect others to do things for you and help you grow your personal brand if you are not reciprocating as well. Remember, this improves your personal brand as well, showing that you are helpful, trustworthy, and happy to assist those that are in the same position as you.
Lastly, remember to constantly be improving and growing your personal brand. Even when you have a job it is important to keep your profile up to date to show your network that you are thriving within your position. This could be you picking up a side project, or perhaps completing a course and showing it off online. By keeping your online presence active and up to date, you will avoid scrambling if you were to lose your job unexpectedly. This way, you will maintain an established presence and network online, and you will be able to make use of your network to find your next opportunity.
These are just some reasons why considering your personal branding is more important than ever, and how by maintaining your personal brand, you can gain amazing new opportunities and connect with like-minded professionals. Take some time to review your LinkedIn and online professional presence, and see the impact it can have on your future!