Your personal brand and online reputation matters, not just from a company perspective, but also from a hiring perspective. You can be sure that any companies looking to hire you will do their research and that’s where your personal brand matters so much. The effort you take to manage your brand online can make a huge difference in a job search. But if you don’t know where to start when it comes to building a strong online reputation, it can seem like something you have little to no control over. That’s not the case. Here are three things you can start doing today that will help you build a better brand online.
Clean Up Your Social Accounts and Web Presence
When was the last time your social profiles were updated? Are you on LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Do you have fresh and relevant content posted regularly? What shows up when someone performs a search for your name on a search engine? Making sure that these touch points are saying what you want them to say is a critical first step to building a solid brand online. Often old posts or comments can bury the good quality information and content that will help you stand out from a crowd of candidates. Make sure you know what people are seeing when they look you up on the web.
Engage with Online Communities
A big part of building your brand online is based on engaging with the online community. Set yourself up for success by establishing yourself as a thought leader and a teacher within the industry. Share high-quality content consistently and engage with groups (on Facebook or LinkedIn for example) to help people learn from that industry experience. By directly engaging with the people you are looking to influence, your reputation immediately benefits from that effort, so long as you remain open to feedback and maintain a respectful discourse with your audience. You never know who is in those groups reading your content. You could be speaking with a future employer and never even realize it.
Check Your References
Your references matter a lot when it comes to your job search. Do you have people who you have worked with closely in the past who can speak to the quality of your experience, of your work effort, or the impact you have had for other companies you’ve worked with? Your advocates are a key part of building your personal brand. Just like with companies who focus in on their brand marketing efforts, in a job search (and even in between job searches) you need to build your brand by influencing how people think of you. That means doing really good work. Ask for references. Be helpful everywhere. Focus on how you interact with your co-workers. The truth is that every person you meet can help you build a bridge. You never know who will help you get where you want to go.
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