Branding is the critical reason to use social media for marketing your professional capabilities . . . forever.
Marketers build brand identity for products to increase sales. Let me give you an example of how marketing affects you and causes you to make a buying decision.
I’m sure you have purchased detergent before to do your laundry. I don’t know anyone who has ever picked up a box of detergent in the store, looked at the list of ingredients, and said to themselves, “You know. The interrelationship between the chemicals in this brand is superior to the ones in these others.”
People don’t do that. Instead, they buy a particular brand of detergent because they have a coupon, it’s cheaper, or a parent, aunt, or grandparent used it. It is never because of the actual ingredients how they make their laundry cleaner than another brand.
Gatorade was originally known for replenishing energy in football players at the University of Florida. Then, it became known as the drink that helped Michael Jordan be the great basketball player he was.
Sony became known for its excellence in electronics. Honda is known for automotive quality more than being “hot.”
The adjectives used to promote these products is their brand identity and helped increase their sales.
This same thinking applies to job hunters and passive applicants too.
When you are actively in the job market, you are selling yourself. To increase your value, you have to brand yourself properly. This means that you start being associated with positive attributes like hard work, efficiency, creativity, leadership, success, etc.
Social networking and, in particular your social network of choice, is a way to brand yourself properly. It will be the first contact that many people will have with you. If your profile looks good and says intelligent things about you, your capabilities, and your experience, people think they have an insight into who you are. Since it is your chance for a first impression, you want it to be a great one in order to create a halo around you. (Nisbett, 1977)
Here are some things you can do to brand yourself better:
- Photos: Add pictures of you smiling and with your friends and family. Make sure that your main profile picture is one where you’re dressed well. It doesn’t have to be formal, but you should be neat and clean in the picture.
- Affiliations and groups: Join professional organizations in the social networks.
- Cross-promote: If you have profiles in multiple social networks, mention each network in another. For example, put your Twitter link on your Facebook page and back to your LinkedIn page.
- Fill out your full profile: Add details about yourself, just make sure that you don’t add any private information that could harm you in the future.
- Build your network: Add as many friends and acquaintances as you can.
- Posts: Post positive comments about your friends on their profiles.
- Try to get your name on all the social media sites. If someone looks you up on LinkedIn, Facebook, or elsewhere, you want to be the one with the url to your name if you can
- Make your bio extremely professional On the sites you can, include professional accomplishments that give someone an appealing glimpse of your experience
- Participate! Social networking is social. It is through developing your relationship with others by participating that the relationship develops.
Put yourself in an HR manager’s place. What would impress you about a potential employee? Would you like to see a profile with silly remarks and lewd pictures or a profile with pleasant pictures and a positive aura?
As I have written before, firms try to hire people based upon the formula
C x 5=PL. The “C’s” are:
People lose valuable opportunities because of something simple like a social media profile, so make sure that you don’t do something foolish that will cost you dearly.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2010, 2012, 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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