During a recent workshop I conducted for a group of young, up-and-coming marketing professionals I asked the participants to pick the one piece of advice they received about establishing a personal brand during their job search that they felt would help them the most.
Some of the answers were good old-fashioned common sense and some a little more innovative here are five I would like to share with you today.
1: Establish and maintain a high visibility in the online, in the press and within the industry
This piece of advice is not only good for people seeking creative positions it is good advice for all job seekers. Everyone should have a solid Linked-In profile since this is generally the first url that shows up when people Google your name. Your profile can be designed as a mini bio or as a sales brochure, or as a combination of both. Blogging is also a good way to get noticed. You can begin your own blog or submit content to established blog. Also, as I have found out, if you contribute useful content and have a writing style that people enjoy as sorts of people will start contacting you with requests to reprint your material, asking you to be a guest blogger, and seeking permission to quote what you write in newspaper articles, websites and other media outlets. I also suggest you check out www.helpareporter.com for ways to get better known in the media world.
2: Be seen and not just read
There is more than meets the eye to the adage “being in the right place at the right time.” As a job seeker it is important for you to be out front and project a public image of being seen in the right circles, speaking to the right people. Too many people today consider networking as a strictly online or telephone based process. This is so far from the truth, networking has always been and will continue to be a pounding the flesh art. So incorporate time to be in a position to meet and greet important people as often as possible. Networking events are not the answer. You may need to make an investment and be at the right trade shows, lectures, workshops CPE classes and the like, but they are well worth the cost. The key though is not to just shake a hand and say hello/my name is John Doe and I am a widget maker extraordinaire/goodbye. Engage people in a conversation, get their contact information, and most of all follow up on it with one week’s time.
3: You’re not a business person unless you have a business card
Following up on the advice above, when you ask someone for their business card you should reciprocate by giving them your card as well. Some of you may have your company business card, and this will suffice. Or you may want to go one step further, especially if you do not have a company business card, and print up an eye catching business card to use strictly for networking purposes. There are so many companies around like Vistasprint and Zazzle that getting attractive business cards designed and printed at a reasonable cost is as easy as it gets.
4: Give us each day your daily message
This is not as easy as it sounds or as hard as people make it out to be. Twitter can elevate your personal brand and get you wide spread name recognition very quickly with no financial cost. However it does take time and effort to find the right people to follow and request that they reciprocate and follow and re-tweet you. Once this is accomplished the hard part is trying to come up with something fresh, relevant and eye catching to tweet every day and being disciplined enough keep up the pace on an ongoing basis. Another site I recommend to people in job search mode is www.brazencareerist.com. As I have said quite often I am not a big Facebook fan for job seekers and joining and contributing on an ongoing basis to several Linked-In group discussions is a great way to get message across on a daily basis.
5. Take people’s pulse
You have an opinion on everything. You know what you think about a current business topic, current events, a company you worked for or want to work at, a specific job, a peer, a recruiter, a product. The list is endless. But the real key to being known and respected is to make sure your opinion is shared by like minded people, and especially by the people you want to meet and impress. So what I suggest is to do what I do. Make a list of the fifty people you trust, respect and admire the most for their wisdom, candor and SME and talk to them regularly to see if they agree, disagree or can add value to what you hold as the truth. You can also do this by creating online, email and blog polls and, sending them to a representative audience interpreting the feedback you receive.
Perry Newman, CPC CSMS is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach, AIPC certified recruiter and SMMU certified social media strategist known for his ability to help his clients get results. You can view his sample resumes at http://www.perrynewman.com, and email him your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org for FREE resume critique.
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