How To Make Yourself Head Huntable – Personal Branding For Career Professionals
So, you’re struggling to get noticed in the sea of other job applicants, when applying for your next career move. Here are 7 top tips to help you stand out, get noticed and even get head hunted.
Today’s post goes out to all those of you who are, perhaps, feeling like you’re at a stuck point in your career, or that your career has stalled. Do you find it frustrating that every time you apply for a job that will take you up a step or two on your career ladder, someone else always seems to out-smart you?
I know exactly how you feel. It happened to me many a time, when I was working in the Corporate world. And, so, I’d like to share with you, today, 7 top personal branding tips that will help you to stand out, get noticed and even get approached by your ideal employers!
Personal Branding Is Not Just For Business Owners
But, first, let me clear up one question that might be going through your head, right now…
“I’m a career person, not a business owner. So, why do I need personal branding?”
Well, actually, everyone who wants to get ahead in their professional life needs to take their personal branding very seriously. It does not matter whether you’re a career person, working in the Corporate world, a freelancer/contractor or you’re a business owner. You absolutely must take your personal branding very seriously, if you want to stand out and get ahead.
And these 7 top tips, I’m going to share with you today, can be applied equally to career professionals, freelancers and business owners. So, without further ado, here are my 7 top personal branding tips to help you stand out and get noticed.
Hone Your Personal Brand
Before you can put any personal branding out there, it’s important that you first understand what your personal brand is and how it aligns with your chosen career path.
So, what exactly is personal branding? How does it differ from “traditional” business branding? The following diagram defines branding, as a whole, and differentiates between personal branding and business branding.
As you can see, personal branding pertains to your personal and professional identity and how you communicate this to the wider world. And, with this in mind, it’s easy to understand why everything you say and do online – and offline – has a bearing on your personal brand.
So, it’s vital that you get clear on your personal branding. To accomplish this successfully, you need to ask yourself and answer questions such as:
- What is your strong why – your reason for being on your career path?
- What are your core values?
- Which companies align to your core values?
Once you’re clear on your answers to these questions, you then need to base your marketing around them. That’s right, you need to market yourself out there. The rest of my top tips to personal branding for career professionals will help you, in this vein.
Treat Your CV or Resumé As Your Marketing Brochure
Getting your ideal job is actually all about marketing and selling yourself. Your CV is your marketing brochure and every interview is your sales meeting – your opportunity to sell yourself.
Adopting this mindset will enable you to approach searching for your next big career break even more professionally. And this will help you to stand out, in your marketplace.
Your CV needs to speak your personal brand, and effectively highlight your key strengths and the unique value you will bring to your prospective client’s or employer’s organisation.
An employer will see hundreds, if not thousands, of CVs and job application letters. Most will be a variation on a theme; each saying, more or less, the same thing but in different wordings. The employer will go through each point on each CV with a “so what?” approach.
So, you can develop web applications using PHP, ASP, mySQL, etc. So what? So can every other applicant!
So, you can deal with difficult customers in a professional manner. So what? So can all the other applicants!
You get the idea, I’m sure. And, so, you need to go through your CV and ask the same of each job and task you have ever done – “So what?”
How did your doing those jobs and tasks add value to the respective organisations you were in at the time? How did you demonstrate exceptional ability or skill, while undertaking those jobs and tasks? How did you serve the respective organisations, you were in, with particular excellence?
That’s how to sell yourself in your CV; by treating it as a sales and marketing brochure, instead of a list of your previous jobs.
Get Active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the most ideal platform for connecting with key players in your field. Use it strategically to identify those organisations that align with your core values (i.e. your brand) and to connect with key personnel, who work with or within those companies.
Actively work to build relationships and demonstrate how your personal brand aligns with their business values and ethos.
Publish Your Own Professional Blog on LinkedIn
You’ve likely already read articles, pertaining to your field, on LinkedIn. And the great thing is that everyone on LinkedIn can write and publish articles.
Frequent The Right Professional Networking Events
Once you’ve connected with a key person on LinkedIn, find out where they hang out professionally. What networking groups are they a member of? What professional or business events do they attend on a regular basis?
When you have this information, then turn up at the same events. Meet them in person and make it known that you are proactively seeking a job, as part of your next career step up.
Obviously, you want to be careful not to come across as being needy or blatantly asking, “Give me a job!” However, with a little forethought, you can craft a suitable elevator pitch that will demonstrate your unique value.
The thing is, most job seekers are not going to business networking events. So if you turn up and, with your carefully crafted elevator pitch, demonstrate your proactiveness in your job search, you’re definitely likely to stand out and impress.
Create a Virtual Interview Video
Something else that will show you to be forward-thinking and innovative, is to create your own virtual interview video. Post your video on YouTube and include it on your LinkedIn profile. Also, consider investing in a suitable domain name, redirect your domain name to your video URL and include it on your CV. (If you’re not sure what I mean by this or how to do it, contact me and I will explain it to you.)
In your video, you will answer common questions that you’ve been asked by previous employers or clients. Create it as a “talking head” style of video. What I mean by this is, instead of talking directly at the camera, place the camera at a slight profile angle towards your face, so that it looks like you’re talking to another person. You’ve probably seen how they do this when interviewing people on the street, in TV and news programmes. This way, it looks more conversational and you can more easily read from a script or autocue, without it being so obvious.
Again, not many – if anyone, is doing this. So it will demonstrate your proactiveness and innovation, which cannot fail to make you stand out.
Treat Your Current Employer Like A Client
And, finally, no matter how much you dislike your current employer, always strive to serve them with excellence. View them as if they were your client.
Adopting such a mindset will give you an even greater air of professionalism. This, in turn, will put you in a good light.
Remember, if you can leave your present employer with a good view of you, after you have left their organisation, they’ll be more likely to give you a good reference. And you’ll be in a stronger position to ask them for a recommendation on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn recommendations are worth their weight in gold, in terms of the positive impact they will have on your personal branding.
What Will You Do?
The above are my 7 top tips to stand out and get yourself notice by potential employers. By applying some or all of these top strategies to your personal branding, you will make yourself even more attractive to potential clients or employers.
If you want more information or guidance on how to create your own personal branding to stand out and get noticed by the right people in your industry, this is what I am good at. It is my mission to help people like you, in this regard. So, check out my Z.E.S.T. Your Brand™ branding services or get in touch with me, to find out how I can help you to stand out and get noticed by the right people for your next career move.
How Can I Help You Right Now?
If you want or need help, support or guidance with any or all of the tips and strategies outlined above, then get in touch with me, by clicking the button below.
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