Once upon a time, way back when, and many years ago, it used to be enough to simply have a great CV and interview competently to ensure you got the job of your dreams.
Nowadays, however, it’s a lot more complicated. The number of sites you can appear on is seemingly endless, with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter being the big three – so while previously, your CV alone would form your personal brand, now a quick Google search can reveal a lot about your professional and personal life.
However, it’s not just about actively searching for that dream job – when you’ve got a great personal brand, your dream job is more likely to find you. After all, if your LinkedIn profile, blog, or even just your online CV, ranks highly for recruiters and HR managers searching for candidates, you’re more likely to be at the top of their list when they’re trying to track down “the one.”
So… How can you make your personal brand more attractive to potential employers?
Although it might appear the very essence of narcissism, Googling yourself allows you to get an idea of how you’re represented online.
If, for instance, you share a name with someone firmly on the dark side, whose madcap online antics might get you confused with them, then it’s worth being prepared for the confusion. Speaking of which…
Don’t have multiple personalities.
It’s amazing how often people make the mistake of having a polished, perfectly presented LinkedIn profile with thousands of professional contacts… Followed by a Facebook profile picture in which they’re up to no good, and a Twitter feed that primarily consists of incoherent ramblings about how much they love drinking and hate their boss.
Needless to say, this isn’t conducive to getting an interview – and even if you get the job, do you really want your co-workers seeing your dark side before you’ve even met?
Being consistent across your public profiles is absolutely key – that’s not to say you can’t have fun, so long as you’re always aware that it could be seen by anyone.
Show that you’re an expert.
If you’re an expert in your field (and since we only recruit specialists – you probably are!) that in itself is a selling point. But if you can demonstrate that your knowledge goes beyond theory, and that you can explain yourself to an audience, then you’ve got those employable skills that will make you an excellent leader.
One of the best ways to do this is through blogging. Sharing your valuable expertise through informative, professional yet interesting blog posts will support the idea that you’re a knowledgeable presence in your field – and the perfect candidate for that job!
Similarly, if you can show that you’re an active, networking LinkedIn member with a lot of expertise to offer, you’ll be easier to find in recruiters’ searches, and you’ll build up a fantastic network of contacts in the meantime. Getting involved in LinkedIn’s “Questions & Answers” area is a great place to start – and active participation in group discussions is a great way to get yourself noticed by the right people.
Know your keywords.
If you’ve got a specific, niche role – for instance, you’re a Dialler Manager, a Telephony Specialist, or an Analyst – then your online profiles should be full of the essential keywords involved in your role. Particular software, and skills unique to your role, should be all over your profile, so that you rank higher in searches for those terms.
If we’ve learned anything from old Disney movies, it’s that you should always be true to yourself.
The same holds true when creating your online presence – it’s a long accepted notion that authenticity is everything. Over-the-top online personas can have a negative effect on your job search, driving people away from your profile rather than towards you.
It’s all about finding the balance between selling yourself, and being yourself – but understanding the importance of your online brand is a great way to help your dream job find you.
Cactus Search is the leading provider of Call and Contact Centre Management candidates to some of the most prestigious companies in the UK and Internationally.