Job seekers who want to break into a new role in 2022 need to think hard about the image (or brand) they project to employers.
Building a strong professional brand that is aligned to the companies or industries you wish to work for will absolutely increase your chances of getting hired.
You need to assume that any recruiter that you approach is going to research you online, so you should have pillars in place that reinforce your skills, expertise and interest in your desired field.
Meanwhile, by branding yourself through online content and engagement, you may even draw an audience of followers, including recruiters who are interested in your profile.
How do you go about branding yourself? Here’s a three-step strategy to follow.
1. Develop Your Own Website and Blog
If you want to brand yourself as an expert, you need a way to showcase your past work and current ideas. A website or blog is the perfect medium.
Just about every company uses a website as a central tool for brand-building. You should do the same.
Don’t worry, nowadays building your own website, with your own personalized URL, requires little to no technical knowledge. Wix, SquareSpace and Wordpress are just a few of the most popular platforms people use.
The advantage of having your own professional website is that it can house a wide range of content that is relevant to employers. Plus the site alone can be used as evidence of your skills: tech-savviness, eye for design, etc.
Having a website that includes a well-written bio and an updated resume/CV will allow employers to find you online. Plus there is a growing trend of recruiters asking candidates for creative job applications. Sharing a link to a personal website where you customize content to a specific job type is bound to impress.
Having a blog integrated into your website can be a major boost to your professional brand. Through a blog, you have the opportunity to write about what matters to you and demonstrate your knowledge of particular issues in order to impress employers.
For example, if you are passionate about sustainable technology and your goal is to work in the field, then blog about it. Tap your thoughts and creativity and produce content on topics that are dear to you. Then, make sure you point employers to this content during the recruitment process.
DOs and DON’Ts of Creating a Personal Website/blog that Appeals to Recruiters
- Set a clear focus niche for your blog based on your career goals
- Produce timely, original content
- Integrate with social media channels
- Get sloppy (strive for consistent design and error-free content)
- Be too negative or political with blog posts
- Forget to include contact info (phone, email, etc.)
3. Engage Elsewhere
Having your own website and an active social media presence will help you get noticed amongst recruiters.
But if you want to go even further in establishing your name and building your professional brand, you can look for other engagement opportunities.
Your goal is to make it known to as many people as possible that you have something to offer: skills or expertise in a particular area.
Go to industry networking events in your field. Better yet, don’t just attend, see if you can participate in panel discussions or speaking opportunities.
Try to get published in industry publications, newspapers or online. Many media outlets crave well-informed content that expresses strong opinions about current issues. Be prepared to encounter some resistance from editors, but keep pitching your writing.
You can always resort to self-publishing on your blog, or other platforms that attract talented writers looking to express themselves, like Medium.com.
These tactics may not spring you to stardom, but they will still help you build name recognition within industry circles. And the people in those circles are the ones who will hire you.