So much of our life is impacted by our online presence today that many are managing their careers by treating themselves as a brand. Personal branding is marketing yourself and your career like a product.
Personal branding incorporates many disciplines: Marketing to create your brand, advertising to promote yourself, and public relations for reputation management and press coverage. Not a once and done project, personal branding is an ongoing process of establishing a desired image to obtain career opportunities.
Like it or not, you have an online personal brand. You might as well be intentional about managing it and invest time in a plan.
What signs are you sending?
A Career Builder survey found 70% of employers use social media to research job candidates and 54% have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media. Not managing your personal social media can keep you from advancing in the hiring process.
On the other hand, 57% of employers say they’re less likely to interview you if they find no information about you online. Not having any social media presence or trying to keep it all private can negatively impact your career job prospects as well.
Other research says that 91% of employers today use social media to hire talent. If you don’t participate you may be missing exciting opportunities. You can’t find your dream job if you’re not looking in the right place. With these stats in mind perhaps it is time to create or revisit your personal brand and manage it through a social media plan.
The good news is that if you know how to market a business you know how to market yourself. With some tweaking the same strategies that work for forming social media plans for organizations and corporations can be applied to your own personal brand.
How to develop a social media plan for your personal brand:
- Identify your personal brand objective. What is that dream job, position, or service opportunity you are ultimately seeking? List specific titles and/or companies/organizations.
- Define your target audience. Who would be the decision maker to put you in that position? Develop a “buyer persona” for the hiring manager.
- Perform a personal situation analysis. Conduct a social media audit of your personal social media channels. Summarize results in a SWOT graphic or matrix.
- Formulate your personal brand message. Identify what you want the hiring managers to think. What messages will get them there? Establish a brand voice and set focused topic guidelines to direct your posts.
- Identify key social media platforms. What social channels do you need to deliver the right message to the right people? What needs to change in your current social media platforms and which do you need to add?
- List key skills employers are seeking. Search job descriptions and ads. Emphasize those skills with keyword optimization of your social media content, profiles, and digital résumés. In direct messages add personalized insights about the company or person.
- Become a lifelong learner. Are you missing any important skills? Find courses, certifications, full degrees or certificates to learn those those skills and earn signal sending qualifications. Then add those degrees/badges to your social profiles.
Don’t forget the value of live connections.
Finally, keep your online personal brand, but also don’t underestimate the importance of in-person connections. Seek out professional networking opportunities and attend all you can – even when many have become virtual. That live, face-to-face connection is still important and nothing is better for relationship building.
Those conversations that occur in the hallways between sessions and in chat boxes make a difference. Since the pandemic 71% of employers are rapidly expanding their digital recruiting capabilities adding information sessions, video panels and one-on-one video sessions.
Personal connections are remembered when new opportunities arise. Whether it’s a professional conference, industry trade show or career fair, invest time building in-person relationships that can be cultivated online through social media.
If you haven’t been intentional about your social media personal brand get started today.