How do you market yourself?
In today's market, even the most talented candidates find it difficult to stand out. Developing your personal brand used to be something you'd do face-to-face, through networking events and raising your industry profile. While this is still important, it's now mostly done remotely via online portals.
Essentially, the skills for traditional and online marketing are the same - they both revolve around networking.
Get keyword friendly
Your LinkedIn profile must be kept up to date and error-free. It’s fully searchable and usually the top hit if people put your name into a search engine. Choose your keywords carefully – this will increase the number of searches you appear under.
Keywords should reflect your aspirations and achievements. For example if you want to move from an HR post in a bank to one in the charity sector, include ‘charity’ and ‘not for profit’ in your profile. If you’re unsure what keywords to use, take a look at some job ads for your ideal roles.
Develop your industry knowledge
Potential employers will look at the company you keep online. Use your LinkedIn account to connect with industry-specific groups and like-minded individuals, to show your knowledge in the marketplace and desire to learn more.
Ask questions – some of the best discussions in groups come from those seeking advice or opinions. However, do think carefully before posting anything as it’s instantly visible. Read previous posts and answers to judge the tone and style of the group, especially if you are unfamiliar with the sector.
Candidate referrals are at an all-time high, with almost a fifth of the placements we’ve made in the last six months utilising personally recommended talent. LinkedIn’s recommendations tool can have the same effect. Avoid using it as a popularity contest and aim for quality not quantity.
Ask previous colleagues and contacts to recommend you for core skills relevant to your desired job. Concise statements which reflect your most marketable skills will increase your visibility to search engines and connect you to a far greater network.
Other social media
Without restrictive settings, everyone can see your accounts, so what’s published should represent you in the best possible light. Social media is like an ongoing, permanently recorded interview and this should be your benchmark when using it to brand yourself in a job search – if you wouldn’t say it to a potential employer; don’t tweet it!
When marketing yourself, the same rules apply as marketing a company or product. Be positive, approachable and upfront with your personal messaging. All personal branding creates opportunities and increases your visibility, so always keep an open mind.