So is your interviewer.
If you’re currently looking for a job, it’s helpful to think of yourself not just as a person, but a brand – with a target audience (potential employers) and a product (you!). To put keep yourself in contention for the best jobs, you must actively manage this “personal brand,” including your online reputation.
First, let’s take a look at how to create a personal brand:
· Start with some introspection. Ask yourself the following questions:
o How would other professionals describe you?
o What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
o What’s your career goal and/or ideal job?
o What can you offer a potential employer that others can’t?
· Develop a unique selling proposition (USP) for yourself, which communicates your specialty (who you are), your service (what you do – and how you do it better or differently), your audience (whom you do it for) and your most valuable attribute. This short (max 30 words), benefits-oriented statement should provide a compelling reason to hire you.
· Put it to work for you. Work your personal brand into your social media profiles, resume and more. Used properly, a personal brand allows you to differentiate yourself from other candidates by occupying a unique, competitive position in a potential employer’s mind.
Once you create your personal brand, you need to maintain it. Manage your online reputation by:
· Egosurfing. It’s not vain – it’s a necessity. Search your name, using multiple strings and search engines, to catch potential “data spills” – information, videos or photos that are outdated, inaccurate, or that you just don’t want in the public eye.
· Make frequent updates. Refreshing professional profiles keeps you on a hiring manager’s radar. Regularly post updates about projects you’re working on, new responsibilities you’ve assumed, or timely articles related to your industry.
· Managing privacy settings. Protect your personal brand with the now robust privacy settings social media sites like Facebook offer.
· Use common sense. The internet is forever. Even “deleted” information is often recoverable online by a sufficiently determined searcher. As a rule, never argue online or post inappropriate comments or photos.
Today’s search-savvy interviewers will likely be checking you out online. Make sure you show them exactly – and only – what they should see when it comes to the professional you, by proactively managing your online personal brand.
Looking for great jobs? PrideStaff has them. As a national staffing service with offices from coast to coast, we will match you with the ideal opportunity. Want to check out our brand? Start by searching jobs with PrideStaff here.