What comes to mind when you think of branding? Many people associate that word with the way a business is perceived by external stakeholders, or even simply the way a website looks, an aesthetic that businesses maintain. When thinking about how you can optimize your career, you should start thinking of branding in terms of your personal message. The message you are sending out into the world in your communications, your resume, and your online presence.
If you start thinking of yourself as your own company with its own brand, you’ll start to realize that your personal message is another avenue in which to make yourself more marketable. And we’re not just talking about how to make yourself more marketable for a new job… you should think about how to make yourself more marketable in your current job. Perhaps you’ve found yourself becoming stagnant in your current profession. How does your management perceive you? What role does your public image play in your career progress?
Whatever the reason, if you’re looking to re-brand yourself (or have never done so), you’ve come to the right place! Here are our tips in streamlining your personal message in order to land your dream job:
- Figure it Out: What’s Your Personal Message?
It’s important to strike a healthy balance between work and life, but a lot of people don’t realize just how much self-awareness impacts their professional lives. As the Greek aphorism goes: Know Thyself.
One thing we advise our clients to do is to think of their brand, or their personal message, as a story they’d like to tell others about themselves and what they are here to do professionally. What is the story you want the world to know? Do you have a knack for sales? Are you a people person? Can you see the big picture and pull together logistics better than the rest of them? Figure out what you’re good at and start creating your story.
It is equally as important to know your audience. What kinds of people would you like to attract professionally? Where are you going to network? By knowing your audience, you’ll know just how to appeal to them; know your own worth and offer your services to the right people.
- Get to Branding!
So you have a brand, a vision, a personal message. How can you start sharing that with the world? Not everyone is a hip young entrepreneur or influencer; we can’t all grow professionally through Instagram and Pinterest! But you can have just as strong of a brand, personal message, or aesthetic on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Resume writing doesn’t just involve proper grammar. Your resume should have a tone, a voice that can be heard above the rest. When it comes to LinkedIn, there are many ways you should be streamlining your personal message: Is your headline SEO-friendly and professional, and does it help you stand out among your competition? Do you have a professional headshot with which to market yourself?
It might sound like common sense, but unfortunately, we meet with a lot of clients who see professionalism as being uniform, monochrome, or solemn and bland. We at Optimized Career Solutions are here to tell you that professionalism means having character! After all, you want to show people that you have something different to offer than other competitors.
- Prove Your Brand By Showing Results
At Optimized Career Solutions, we talk a lot about having a results-oriented resume. It’s because we know what recruiters are looking for, and what will catch their eye! The same goes for your personal message, your brand, and your online presence.
For starters, take a look at your LinkedIn profile and your former positions. Are they simply lists that describe what your job functions were? When looking for a new job, too often people get caught up in the tasks they were required to do at their last positions, forgetting all about their accomplishments. But that’s exactly what hiring teams and recruiters want to see!
Along with your tone and vision, your personal message and your brand should have confidence by being results-oriented and achievements-based. What projects have you been proud of? Outside of your basic job duties, what did you accomplish within your team? Write it out, and optimize your personal brand.
- Own It!
Own your personal message; Be It! A brand isn’t just a static image that you present to the world. In a way, having a brand is a job in itself; you should be working to maintain a public image, which means networking and engaging with other people in your profession.
If networking in real life intimidates you, start by networking on LinkedIn and doing your own research on how to engage your target audience. Make connections with others; not just by hitting that follow button but by talking to them! Trust us, they want to network, too. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make yourself seen and heard online, and you will be much less likely to be forgotten.
Provide value to be seen as an industry leader! When you post articles and comment your opinions on other’s posts, you start to be seen as an industry leader, someone who knows what they’re talking about! This furthers your brand and your messaging and widens your network. Living your personal message means becoming an industry leader and providing value to others. This is how people get sought out for those drool-worthy positions because they’ve set themselves apart.
Find out how we can help you build your messaging and enhance your brand through optimizing your resume and LinkedIn profile to help you stand out as the industry leader you are, and don’t forget to follow us @OptimizedCareerSolutions for more tips and tricks of the trade!