Personal Branding FAIL: 4 Errors Job Seekers Make

For those interested in finding work or advancing their careers, establishing a personal brand is essential. This practice effectively involves the cultivation of certain, positive associations with an individual’s name, as when a job seeker brands him or herself as a green plumbing expert, or a people-oriented real estate professional. (Do you feel stuck in your career? In this webinar, career expert J.T. O’Donnell will show you exactly what you can do get out of your career rut and into a more satisfying career.) As such, more and more individuals are starting to take personal branding seriously. However, according to online marketing professional Rich Gorman, not all branding strategies are created equal. Some well-meaning individuals, either through neglect or misinformation, end up doing more harm than good to their personal brands. By isolating the most common personal branding fails, individuals can ensure that their branding efforts yield only positive results. Here are a few:


Using A Boring LinkedIn Headline

By now, most job seekers understand that LinkedIn is an incredible platform for seeking and finding employment—but are you really using the site to its full potential? The opportunities for personal branding via LinkedIn are abundant, yet it is easy to miss them. For one, make sure you’re not settling for a boring headline. Yes, “Sales Representative” may be your job title, but that’s unlikely to distinguish you from others in your field. Instead, use something that’s more creative, more attention-getting, or simply more loaded with descriptive words.

Being Afraid Of Social Media

There are many who believe that, because social media sites can lead to personal branding breakdowns, they are better off avoided altogether. These folks are right that the wrong words can cause reputational peril, but wrong in thinking the solution is to abandon social media altogether. Instead, be strategic in using Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites to cultivate your expertise and authority. Share posts or articles that pertain to your field, and offer your own insights and opinions.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin On Social Media Sites

A related problem: Biting off more than you can chew when it comes to social branding. Yes, daily posts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram, plus YouTube videos and blogs could help you develop your name—but can you really keep up with all of that? It’s better to be strategic, and do a few things really well, than to end up with a bunch of dormant or half-used social media profiles.

Not Claiming Your Domains

An easy way to build your online presence is to make sure you’re claiming all of the pertinent online domains—not just the “vanity handles” for your social media sites, but also YourName.com. The last thing you want is for someone else to get this domain and populate it with information that has nothing to do with your own professional life—or worse, that is negative or embarrassing in some way. Spend $20 or so at GoDaddy.com and get your domain name today. Nobody ever said that personal branding was easy, but the steps featured here are all attainable—and they can put any individual on the right path to solid personal brand maintenance. Avoid these pratfalls and stumbles, and make sure your personal brand is one that shines! (P.S. If you’re having trouble getting ahead at work, register for this free 20-minute webinar to find out how YOU can get out of your career rut.) This post was originally published at an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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