No doubt you have heard the term personal branding. Once upon a time only companies had to worry about their brands. Now individuals do as well, especially individuals who are open to or actively seeking new job opportunities. Related: What Your Social Media Says About You To Employers If you maintain your social media profile, it's worth considering what your profile conveys to a potential employer as well as to potential colleagues. Here are some common mistakes that social media users make on their profiles that definitely hurt their personal brands:
What's your brand? This is a very common question these days since branding has become such a hot topic, not just for companies, but for individuals. If you're not sure, then you should get advice from a career coach. With the advent of social media, branding for executives has entered a new arena. In the midst of a competitive job market, online branding is a very effective way for executives to convey to potential employers what is unique about them and what they bring to the table. Here is some practical advice from a career coach for executives who want to promote their brands positively: Identify your unique qualities that set you apart from others in your field. One way to do this is to review what others have said about you over the years. No doubt you will start to see some repetition as you do this. Maybe you are known as a turnaround specialist, having entered underperforming companies or departments and returned them to financial solvency in a short period of time. Or maybe you are recognized as a sales leader, identifying new markets and seizing the opportunity to increase market share. Determine what you want to be known for. After you have identified your unique qualities (there may be several), think about which ones you really want to market to a potential employer. There is no point in emphasizing skills you no longer want to use. Select a few social media sites that you plan to be involved in for the foreseeable future. You will spread yourself too thin if you try to become involved in too many different sites. My suggestion is that you choose the top three for job seekers: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. This will keep your online involvement manageable. Interact on different social media sites with your brand in view. In other words, as you answer questions, tweet, or post news articles, think to yourself, “Does this promote my brand?” If the answer is no, you might want to reconsider before you post something that is off the mark. Your profiles should promote and reinforce your brand. Your professional headline should summarize the essence of your brand succinctly. Your picture should reflect your brand. Any videos, blog posts, or documents attached to your profile should be part of your branding strategy. By following these tips you can attract employers who are interested in your unique executive brand. This post was originally published on an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
NothingIf you are not present on social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, recruiters will never see you at all. That means you could miss out on job opportunities as a result. A Google search will show results for your name from these different social media sites, but, of course, if you haven’t completed a profile, you are invisible to recruiters.
Negative PressYou may be present on different social media sites, but if the information there is negative, you are in a worse position than if there were no information at all. A sloppy profile filled with typos is negative press for you. And, if you have responded with a comment to a video or article from a periodical with profanity or other negative information, this can show up on Google as well and hurt your professional image.
Great PressIf you have been intentional about your online presence, what Google says about you can give recruiters a reason to take a second look at you. Here are some pointers on what you can do to :
- Google yourself to see what comes up. You need to see what recruiters will see when they search for you. That way you can make any needed adjustments to your online presence.
- Take charge of your ZoomInfo profile. ZoomInfo is a site that automatically collects data about people online from different sources on the Internet. Sometimes there will be erroneous information on ZoomInfo under your name because the site confused you with someone else with the same name. Also, there may be information that is omitted about you that should be included. You can go to ZoomInfo for free and claim your name and correct any mistakes there may be. You can also post your picture to your profile if you choose to.
- Create profiles on social media sites for visibility. LinkedIn is the most popular site for professionals, and there are hundreds of thousands of recruiters on LinkedIn searching for candidates. Make sure your profile is complete and it represents you well.
As an executive job seeker you should incorporate both strategies into your job search game plan. These strategies can be complementary and can land you a new position more quickly. One offline strategy is to grow your local network by joining the local chapter of a professional association. This is a great way to meet people who are in your field who are in a position to refer you to job vacancies that may not be advertised. You can volunteer to be a member of a committee or even present at a monthly meeting. This will raise your visibility and better position you to be referred to a job opening. In addition, you can join the local chamber of commerce and attend executive breakfast meetings to expand your local network. Hiring managers prefer to hire candidates who come referred, so the more you become known in your local job market, the more opportunities are likely to come your way. You can also enlarge your network beyond your local community by connecting with people online. By participating on social networking platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, you can meet people who you would not otherwise have the opportunity to connect with. All of these sites have groups associated with them that are clustered around different areas of interest. Joining groups and participating in them can raise your visibility, which will in turn increase your number of connections as people get to know who you are and start to invite you into their networks. One tool for finding great people to follow on Twitter is www.exectweets.com. ExecTweets has different categories in which you can search for executives in specific fields. The executives whose tweets are posted on this site are considered to be top executives in their respective fields. Another great tool is Mr. Tweet, which will recommend people for you to follow based on your current Twitter following. Another online job search strategy is to identify thought leaders in your field as well as hiring managers in companies you want to work for and try to connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or Facebook. If they agree to be part of your network, you can then interact with them personally and cultivate a professional relationship. This relationship will give you an opportunity to find out what their interests are and how you can help them. It’s always best to offer something first in a professional relationship rather than to start out asking for a job. Also, you can connect with people you meet on social networking sites in person if you choose to. There are groups on all of these sites that are based on geographic location. On Twitter, for example, you can do tweetups—meet face to face with people who are in your area.On LinkedIn and Facebook you can join groups that are centered around certain metropolitan areas (i.e. Washington, DC or New York City). Once you are a member of these groups you can find out if there are any local meetings. The combination of online and offline job search strategies is powerful. By leveraging both strategies you can not only find a new position more quickly, but you can also nurture authentic relationships with people who will form the backbone of your network for years to come. Executive online job search strategies image from Shutterstock