Consider This A Sign: Now Is The Time To Create A Social Media Plan For Your Personal Brand.

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 when people search you on social media? Do you have a social media plan for your personal brand? What signs are you sending on social media? Do you have a social media plan for your personal brand?

 

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Define your target audience. Who would be the decision maker to put you in that position? Develop a “buyer persona” for the hiring manager.
  3. Perform a personal situation analysis. Conduct a social media audit of your personal social media channels. Summarize results in a SWOT graphic or matrix.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

51% of Employers Pass on Applicants Due to Social Media: How Social Media Can Hurt Or Help Your Career.

How to Use Social Media to NOT Land a Job.

According to a New CareerBuilder Survey, the number of Employers passing on applicants due to Social Media Posts continues to rise. This year 51% of employers said they have found content that caused them to not hire a candidate, up from 43% last year and 34% in 2012. An additional 12% don’t research candidates on social media, but plan to start.

What are they finding that’s eliminating candidates from consideration?

The most common social media reasons to exclude a job candidate:

  • Posting provocative or inappropriate photographs or information (46%)
  • Posting information about them drinking or using drugs (41%)
  • Bad-mouthing previous company or fellow employee (36%)

The most common social media reasons to hire a candidate:

  • Feel for candidate’s personality – see good fit with company culture (46%)
  • Background information supported professional qualifications for job (45%)
  • Site conveyed a professional image (43)

How to Use Social Media to Land a Job.

The Society for Human Resource Management survey reports that 77% of organizations use social networks to recruit, 69% use social networks to target and recruit candidates with specific skill sets and 57% use social networks to make it easy for potential candidates to contact their organization about employment. Career coach Miriam Salpeter suggests using the strategies below to land a job via social media.

Take advantage of employer’s reaching out to you in social media:

  1. Use every network that makes sense for you.
  2. Be active on networks that take advantage of your best skills.
  3. Identify your target audience, “like” and engage with them.
  4. Visit, “like” or “follow” the companies that interest you.
  5. Optimize profiles with keywords employers use to search for someone like you.

How to Use Personal Branding to Land a Job

“Personal branding” is a term first used by Tom Peters in a 1997 article. Your personal brand refers to how others perceive you, how they consider your knowledge and skills and the things that make you unique and different. Today the prevalence of social media makes personal branding more important than ever. With so many employers searching social profiles, you should spend some time figuring out your personal brand. Then let your personal branding strategy drive your social profiles and your social content. Brand relationship trainer Maria Elena Duron suggests starting to create your personal brand by answering the questions below.

Find your unique promise of value by considering these questions:

  1. What does my personal brand promise to my clients and customers?
  2. How will I consistently deliver that promise?
  3. How will I make people remember my promise?
  4. How can I ensure my brand promise is unique and memorable?

I am currently reading Sally Hogshead’s new book How The World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through The Science of Fascination. Sally is a former advertising copywriter who is now applying what she learned in branding products and services to branding people. Her system comes with an online assessment and ways to create an anthem of your highest distinct value expressed in 49 personality archetypes.

I discovered my personality archetype is Avant-Garde which lead to my anthem of “Delivering Enterprising Vision With Resourceful Action.” For the Spring I am incorporating these insights and resources into my classes at Johns Hopkins University. I have developed a graduate course 663.610 Personal Branding & Writing for the Web, plus added personal branding to my 661.454 Blogging & Digital Copywriting course.

Have you thought about how your social media activity affects your career? How can you use social media to find career opportunities? Have you followed a personal branding exercise and integrated it across all your social media accounts and activity?