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Tuesday, 21st November 2017

Build your own brand

Where to start?

Before you start opening endless accounts on various sites, stop and think carefully about what you want to say. This part is crucial and it has to be consistent - it can’t be stressed highly enough. A prospective employer might look on your Twitter page and really like what they find – a switched-on, media-savvy, enthusiastic individual who is serious about their job search and genuinely interested in the industry. If this is then mirrored through Facebook, Blogs, LinkedIn etc. it only consolidates the employer’s first perceptions and confirms that you are someone they might like to meet. So to get started, think about what you want to say and stick to it.

How do I get my brand out there?

Along with consistency, visibility is your next best friend. Start with one really solid profile – be it LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook – and perfect it to the max. Once you’ve established your brand here you’ll tend to find that most of them overlap naturally anyway – posting blog updates on Twitter/Facebook, syncing your LinkedIn with your twitter account to automatically update etc – so once you’ve got started with one, it will all start to fall into place from there.

Here are some examples of the main places to get your brand running -

Facebook – 1 out of 5 managers now use Facebook to screen potential candidates. You needn’t worry that you’ll have to cut off your right arm and remove all your much loved incriminating wall-posts and photos of drunken antics from your page - you can keep all this for friends and chose your privacy settings carefully for potential employers. Replacing a dodgy drunken profile picture is definitely a good idea and replace it with something smiley, relaxed and respectable (sober) looking. Matt Ambrose from Social Media Today also suggests that in the “‘About me’ section writing a positive, inspiring branding statement that reflects why employers should give you an interview” can work wonders.

LinkedIn –LinkedIn is becoming a must in the business world these days and a full profile can be invaluable for jobseekers. To start your networking on here, it’s a good idea to begin looking up y our old school and university friends. In particular, connect with those who graduated in previous years and are already active in the workplace. Discussion groups related to the industries you’re interested in are also a good idea to join to gain some insight into hot topics and if you’re asking relevant questions in discussions, you may just catch an employer’s eye.

Blogging – Blogs are a fantastic platform for your personal brand. You will need to be passionate and committed for this though, as a good blog needs to be updated once a week to keep your audience engaged and hopefully acquire email subscribers to measure/prove your success. There are plenty of sites where you can start a blog for free (e.g. Wordpress.com, Typepad.com or Blogger) which enable you to be up and blogging in minutes.To kick it up another notch you may also consider joining a blog network. April Joyner of inc.com highlights that established networks with loyal followings, such as BlogHer, can help you reach a wider audience more quickly and gain familiarity within a particular niche.

Twitter – Twitter is the perfect way to increase the visibility of your personal brand. You can also build your online presence and keep on the pulse of key trends by retweeting experts in your industry and posting links to relevant news stories. These retweets will increase your visibility further and help you engage with people, particularly key industry contacts, who may not land on your main page. Used effectively, Twitter can be a highly productive tool for marketing your personal brand and directing key industry bods and like-minded individuals to other branches of your online portfolio.

Social media can give you a platform to demonstrate your enthusiasm, passion and proactive attitude that will hopefully tick all the right boxes with employers. But it is by no means a one-off quick fix. The dedication and tenacity required to create a brand through your social media network takes time and effort. It can be hard work and a little confusing at times, but as long as you stick to your guns with the authenticity of your brand and be consistent, the hard work will pay off in the end.

Sources

Matt Ambrose - How social media can help graduates build their personal brand and get a job

Gill Corkindale – 11 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand

April Joiner – How to build your personal brand

Simon Lewis – How to use social media to find your next job

Vicky Bull, Direct Recruitment – The “direct girls” blog

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