Creating a brand for yourself isn’t a task only independent authors and publicists must tackle. If you plan to look for a job soon – or if you’re just open to new opportunities – cultivation of your personal “job candidate brand” is important.
After all, what image do you want to portray to potential employers?
Today’s employers and recruiters don’t bring someone in for a job conversation until they’ve already researched that person. Don’t be surprised if your first meeting with people at the possible new workspace seem to already know a thing or two about you.
It’s estimated that up to 70 percent of employers research job candidates online before they extend an offer. Not only do employers want to make sure candidates are devoid of undesirable behavior, they also want to make sure candidates will mesh well with their workplace culture.
Sure, your resume is considered, but if a Google search of your name yields an assortment of scandalous photos and argumentative forum posts or a blog where you blast your current employer, your resume will soon be forgotten, as will your eligibility for the position.
Cultivate Your Brand
Before you decide what you want your brand to say about you, consider where you want to work. What type of person does your ideal workplace seek? Can you genuinely be that person? If so, it’s time to become that person – or at least portray the image of that person online.
Fake Doesn’t Work
When it comes to presenting a particular online image– if it’s fake, it likely won’t work. Most employers already assume potential candidates put up a bit of a façade online as to who they truly are because most people do that anyway.
So don’t Photoshop photos of you climbing Mount Everest while you write code in one hand and tame a bear with the other. If you present an obvious and outlandishly fake image, recruiters and potential employers won’t reach out to you for an interview.
Industry Shop Talk
In the Omaha area or anywhere else, word gets around – particularly within populations of people who work in the same industry. So you might present a stellar image with your resume or on your social media channels, but if the people in your industry regard you as less than stellar, potential employers will likely know that, too.
There’s simply no better way to get a positive candidate brand when you look for a new job than to actually be a good candidate.
Clean Up Your Resume
If you haven’t looked at your resume for a while, dust it off and give it a good polish. Write it as though you were invited to submit it for your dream job at your dream workplace – what would get the hiring manager’s attention?
Do a Social Media Audit
Audit your social media presence – even if you have “private” pages you want to assure everything out there about you projects the image of someone an employer would want to hire. Review all the photos you’re tagged in – these are easy to find online and might even pop up in a simple image search. If there are tagged photos detrimental to your image, remove the tag or ask the image’s owner to delete it.
Confirm Your References
Check with the people you use as references. It may be time to have good, honest conversations with them about how they view you and how they describe you to other people.
When you seek a new job – or just are open to opportunities – make sure your jobseeker “brand” appeals to those you hope will notice it. Bolster your brand and cultivate it because you never know when an appealing opportunity might come along.