Just as employers cultivate an employer brand to attract quality talent, you too should develop your brand if you want to stand out.
In the current economic environment, many job seekers have similar skills and experience and are vying for the same role, so you need a competitive edge.
The way to do this is to build a personal brand that will get you noticed - and ultimately hired.
We've broken this process down into seven easy steps:
1. define your brand.
The most critical step in this process is to outline your unique value proposition - the combination of skills, experience and personal attributes that you possess over other candidates.
Start with an idea of how you want potential employers to perceive you, and look at how these skills and attributes can best be presented to paint that image. An excellent exercise for how you want to be perceived is brainstorming five words you would like potential colleagues to describe you as.
2. google yourself.
Search the internet and audit any existing evidence of your brand. Delete or make private anything that could damage your job prospects, including social media profiles, tagged photos and even your public comments on web forums.
3. build your online profile.
After cleaning up your existing online footprint, build a new presence that fits your brand.
Research our article, 'How to leverage social media to land your dream job' to learn more.
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4. make your resume searchable.
Don't just rely on LinkedIn and Twitter. While younger candidates might be on Facebook, not all hiring managers will be.
Instead, put your resume onto a website where Google can index it, and recruiters and potential employers will find it. Include links to digital evidence such as awards, blogs, photos, or videos demonstrating your professional experience and skills.
5. assess your image objectively.
Does your offline identity match your online image? Do your clothes, personal appearance and demeanour suit the roles you are applying for? Are you as engaging in real life as you are in online conversations? If not, you need to change them, so they are not incongruent.
6. align yourself with a specialist recruiter within your industry.
Less than 10% of jobs are ever advertised, so building a long-term partnership with a specialist recruiter means you will get insider industry knowledge and potentially have access to exclusive, unadvertised roles.
7. continuous improvement.
Building your brand is an ongoing effort. You'll need to continually work to improve, promote and boost your brand reach. Up-skill, ask for recommendations, subscribe to online industry blogs, get involved with LinkedIn groups, attend conferences and be creative and innovative in everything you do.