Personal Branding, Recruiters Beware!

In my recruiter’s job, searching Google and  social networking websites (eg. Linked.in) in pursuit of the suitable candidate has become my second nature.  Also, before inviting anyone for the interview I do the thorough research across all the networks to find extra information that is not visible on the applicant’s resume. As I mentioned in my previous post about how HR trends are changing along with the web trends, Web 2.0 significantly revolutionized the way we scrutinize the candidates. With this in mind, more and more professionals discover the importance of creating and maintaining personal brands in their job search and for the sake of their future career. Can we trust these brands?

Intentional well-thought out self-promotion

In order to stay fully objective in our hiring job we mustn’t forget that all the candidates skillfully use the techniques of self-promotion and most of them, even without realizing it, are pretty smart in personal marketing. People realized that if you don’t exist on the Internet you simply don’t exist. It’s clear to them that regular updating of professional profiles can be really helpful while looking for a job or widening the net of business contacts.

Internet users are more and more aware of all the dangers they face by not communicating their personal brands. According to Chris Perry, a Career Search and Personal Branding Expert and the Founder of Career Rocketeer, if you don’t know how to market yourself you may unintentionally pigeonhole your personal brand, and end up limiting your opportunities to climb the career ladder.

We crate our virtual image more consciously

Personal BrandingThe survey carried out by one of the career community portals revealed that one in three Internet users look themselves up in Google to find out what the Internet is “telling” about them. 45% of the respondents admitted that they consciously create their image on the web. One in three internet users started their profile in career community portals in order to enhance their personal brand and the same number contribute to discussions on forums related to their industry or line of business. However, only 7% of the interviewed have their own website and even fewer people (3%) only have their blogs. Moreover, 72% look up a newly met person in Google. Constant scrutiny. Pretty scary, don’t you think?

Guide to personal branding

I came across a number of articles on how to create your own brand  and thrive on it in the digital reality. Basically the formula is simple, take control of your virtual image and communicate your personal brand for the future growth and opportunities.

First, you have to discover your brand which involves identifying who you really are and setting goals for life.  Later, you can select a niche in which you can feel like a king. Now you can go ahead with the job of creating your personal brand. There are a few indispensable things you should never forget if you want to do it right:

  • Have business cards, no matter who you are share them through your mobile phone or web, eg.  mydropcard.com,  businesscard2.com,  rmbrme.com
  • Send customized CVs and cover letters, (For more tips on how to avoid common mistakes in CVs read my previous blog post )
  • Create a portfolio to show off your skills
  • Start your website or blog (yourname.com)as this is the greatest asset since blogs and websites rank higher in search engines.
  • LinkedIn profile where you put the resume, cover letter, references, and where you have access living database of your network.
  • Facebook profile with pictures without any inappropriate objects or situations (banned: nudity, sex, alcohol, drugs, alcohol bashes etc.)
  •  Upload the video with your statement explaining why you are the best man for the job on Youtube
  • Your email address is part of your brand eg. firstname.lastname@gmail.com. (sweetcandy@pink.com -it’s unacceptable, with such an address nobody will take you seriously)
  • Have your opinion and stand by it. Create great content, build value and instead of shining light on others give them some spotlight as well. Comment and contribute. 
  • Use Twitter to promote your personal brand (it is probably the fastest growing social media network. It has over 6 million users, and you’ve probably been hearing about it everywhere. Twitter has gone mainstream and just like Facebook, it’s quickly becoming a part of our culture and an awesome way to promote your personal brand.)
     

Recruiters! Let’s not be fooled.

Personal branding is a conscious, intentional self-presentation- let’s not forget about this while reading all these profiles. The professional information is thoroughly selected, skills sometimes exaggerated and merits and successes blown out of proportion. Personal brands can be contrived and faked.

Take my today search for an iPhone developer to GOYELLO. I contacted over twenty people through one of the popular social network for career people. All of them fully matched my profile and requirements according to what I read in their employment history. However, when I invited them for the interview some got cold feet and wiggled out of a face-to face meeting. They explained that their actual duties are not really connected with software development but with other aspects of a product life cycle. So why brand yourself as an iPhone developer if you are not the one? Candidates!  Your personal brand is a promise.

 Feel free to share your opinion by leaving a comment below or raise a discussion on our Twitter account @GOYELLO.