Why Building Your Personal Brand is Essential for Job Seekers

We are in a competitive marketplace. Right now, there is a very large candidate pool and getting noticed as a job seeker takes expertise and a refined skillset. While the sheer size of the market right now may feel discouraging, there are many simple yet effective ways to help yourself stand out as a candidate. By building your personal brand and crafting compelling digital assets you can showcase your unique abilities and land the job of your dreams.

Preparation and Visual Branding  

The preparation and work that you do leading up to applying for jobs is critical. Ensuring that your resume and online profiles (mainly LinkedIn) are up to date and present a strong professional representation of your experience is the best way to get noticed in the job market. You are your best advocate and can develop an advantage if you hone your digital footprint and understand how your online presence is perceived by potential new employers.  You don’t need to be a marketing guru to have a well-crafted online presence. While there is no secret recipe, there are many tactics and best practices you can consider when remodeling your digital profiles. In many industries, a compelling online profile and personal brand can even lead to recruiters and hiring managers reaching out to you!

Using LinkedIn like a Pro  

LinkedIn is a powerful way for you to connect with hiring managers, leaders, and people across your industry. It is arguably the best platform when it comes to looking for a job because it allows you to showcase your personality and professional experience in an engaging way. Creating a profile that stands out can help you create valuable connections and open the door to exciting opportunities.

Building your profile

If you don’t know where to begin, start by looking at the profiles of industry leaders and those in roles that you would hope to someday hold. Note how they present themselves:

  • How do they talk about their experiences?
  • What type of posts do they make?
  • How do these individuals visually represent themselves in their headshot and other elements?
  • And most importantly, how can you make your profile more like theirs?

LinkedIn vs. Your Resume

Most people do not realize that when hiring managers and recruiters view you, they often see your profile before they even access your resume. Your LinkedIn profile is often the first impression of your personal brand - so make it count! We’ve compiled a short list of the 3 most viewable parts of your LinkedIn profile – especially when you submit your resume to a job posting hosted on LinkedIn.

#1. Your Picture:

This is an obvious one, but some people are unaware that their profile picture is set to private or that only your first-degree connections can see your profile pic. LinkedIn’s research and user polls have shown that just having a picture makes your profile 14x more likely to be viewed by others. You’ll also be taken more seriously as a job seeker if you understand that this platform is business focused, so you should have a professional looking picture – and one where you look approachable and friendly.

#2. Utilize the Headline Section wisely:

Beyond your picture and name, the next thing most recruiters read is your headline. We recommend keeping the headline simple. See how other professionals in your industry display their headline and if you are looking to join a specific company, you should model your headline after someone else with a similar format.

#3. About Me:

A well-crafted “About Me” section is the perfect place to color in the rest of your story. You’ll be able to drive home your accomplishments, your background, key adjectives you use to describe your work style, and especially what you are passionate about. Remember, what you say here can make all the difference – so be targeted and strategic in what you share and ensure correct grammar. If you’re a software expert in specific programs, this is a good section to drive home your expertise.  While your resume should strive to be simple and efficient, LinkedIn is the place to make key connections and bring your personality and digital brand to life.Your resume should be a clean, concise, and easy to read document that details your experiences and abilities. Your resume should reflect your ability to produce a well-crafted one or two page document. With that said, you should have clickable links that drive a hiring manager to your LinkedIn profile, or your personal portfolio. Think of these hot links as digital breadcrumbs. You’ll not only showcase that you’re technically savvy, but also leave your own curated trail to follow and keep them engaged. The goal of your digital presence should always be to entice your desired audience and to demonstrate yourself as professional, strategic and self-aware of the importance of visual presentation.  

Developing Your Personal Brand

As you build your online presence and continue to develop your professional career, it is crucial to consider how you are presenting this information and your overall aesthetic. As our lives have become increasingly more digital, your goal is to keep the information you share relevant, current, and authentic!  Don’t be afraid to change it up! If you feel like you have gotten stuck in your job hunt, maybe something isn’t working. Switch up your key words, increase your technical skill list, engage and connect with professionals outside of your normal network. You'll be surprised how much can happen if you step outside your comfort zone and take a chance. At Career Group Companies, our team of hiring experts is here to support you as you navigate the job market. With a hands-on personal approach, we are ready to coach you through the process of finding your next dream job.  Head to our Find Work page to browse our open opportunities and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date with our open roles and hiring insights. Let’s find your people.

Jenna Nicholas

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Originally from Dallas, Jenna Nicholas graduated from the University of North Texas, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Business Management. Since joining Career Group in 2010, Jenna has become an integral member of the team. Jenna has a range of experience recruiting for full-time and direct hire roles that span corporate industries from startup to the most successful global brands as well as Private Family Office. She is committed to excellence in finding the right talent for her clients and ensuring a long-term fit. In her spare time, Jenna enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, spending time with her family and two rescue dogs, Bruce and Eli.

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