Work on Your Brand
A polished online presence is critically important for job seekers.
By Elijah Thomas
You wouldn’t leave home without double-checking everything in the mirror. The same goes for reassessing a personal brand before returning to the job market. The only difference is you’re making sure to showcase professional accomplishments and unique skills rather than adjusting your tie or favorite accessory. Here’s how to polish up your online presence.
In the modern era, first impressions are often guided by social media and that’s especially true with prospective employees. Expect hiring managers to check in on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to get a better idea of how you present yourself. Courting controversy may not fit with their company culture, so it’s smart to delete things like offensive memes and inappropriate photos.
Update professional sites like LinkedIn with your latest accomplishments, both professionally and in the community. In some cases, it may make sense to highlight specific elements of your work past in order to better position yourself for a new job opportunity. To strengthen your knowledge and contact list, try touching base with one new professional source each day, either by phone call, text or social media. Follow and contribute to related industry pages, and create your own original content focusing on your occupation. These discussions will make it clear that you are an engaged worker with a forward-thinking approach.
Working on your brand also includes things you can’t control, such as search results on the internet. It’s a good idea to look around and see what’s out there. A comprehensive search will give you a better idea of what hiring managers will see, including details about previous jobs and even parts of your private life. With that knowledge, you can then better prepare for any questions that may arise through the interview process.
Some of the best brand conversations are held internally. Consider crafting a mission statement to better frame your career goals. Sketching out where you’d like to be next year, in five years and 10 years will put everything in perspective today. Your plans will be more concrete, your social-media interactions will be more focused, and your conversations with prospective employers will be more detailed and complete. This mission statement will eventually become a kind of road map for success.