Personal Branding

You probably know something about personal branding and the general tools you use to promote it. But with a new year comes new strategies to keep up with the changing times and changing technology.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to make sure your personal brand gets you where you want to go:

1. Do get comfortable in front of the camera

With video interviewing platforms becoming more and more popular, many companies are starting the interview process with a virtual interview. This could mean a Skype-style interview. But don’t be surprised if you’re asked to answer a set of questions on camera through an online platform that are then accessed by your potential employer.

2. Do have something to say

LinkedIn is the #1 platform from which you can network, find a job and share your personal brand with the world. Be sure you use it to its fullest potential. You’re no longer limited to writing status updates, but have the ability to write meaningful long-form content that shows off your industry knowledge. Write about what you know and share a unique point of view. It’s not necessarily about getting your post seen by thousands of viewers, but about being sure that when the right people land on your profile, they have access to your unique insights and get a taste of the professional value you can bring to the table.

3. Don’t mistake your LinkedIn profile for another version of your resume

While it would appear that LinkedIn is meant to present a profile of your work history, it’s so much more than that. One day it may totally replace the need for a resume, but even then it won’t offer information in the same way. In addition to writing long-form content, you’ll want to convey your professional story in a way that resonates with the reader and in a way that allows people to clearly understand your value proposition.

4. Don’t try to fake it till you make it

Your personal brand is not a costume, it’s not a disguise and it’s not who you hope to be one day in the not-so-distant future. Your brand is you, the authentic you that you are today and the unique talents you possess. Whatever platforms you’re utilizing, make sure you stay true to the real you and that you maintain consistency.

5. Do realize that your online presence has limits

Being active on social media outlets, LinkedIn included, is a great thing. But if building or maintaining your personal brand is a critical goal, then be sure not to publicly overshare things that are better left to private communications. It’s usually best to stay out of heated online political debates, out of photos taken at the after-after party and away from talking about your personal relationships or lack thereof.

6. Don’t be afraid to get creative

Now, more than ever, is the time to stand out. Why write a cover letter when you can send a video version of the same instead? This approach will soon be the norm as opposed to the exception. Get noticed before everyone else competing for your job is standing out in some other way too!

7. Do leverage your recommendations

You’ve gotten some great recommendations on LinkedIn, but why should that be the only place they are seen? You want your personal branding tools, such as your personal website and resume, to be interconnected. Share a hyperlinked excerpt of a recommendation on your resume that will direct the reader to your LinkedIn page. You can also use it the same way in a cover letter or on your personal site.

8. Don’t mistake personal branding for a sales pitch

Personal branding is meant to inform and make a connection with someone of interest. Yes, ultimately it’s meant to make someone want to “buy” what you have to offer. However, people don’t want to be sold anything. They want to make informed decisions while remaining in control. Hiring employees or building collaborative partnerships happen in much the same way. Let your brand, however you choose to present it, speak for itself.

9. Do challenge yourself to network more

Most job opportunities these days come from networking, but that’s not to say that you start networking when you decide you need a new job. Your network is something you should constantly be cultivating. Put yourself out there and be generous and gracious when people want to network with you. Apprehensive about your networking skills?

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10. Don’t sell beer, sell warmth

Alfred Heineken often said, “I don’t sell beer, I sell warmth.” You must do the same. Don’t tell people what you do, tell them what you accomplish. Share the results of what you do. They’re so much more tangible and relatable. Everyone loves results.