Build Your Professional Brand

A ‘personal brand’ is in many ways synonymous with your reputation. It refers to the way other people see you. Are you a genius? An expert? Are you trustworthy? What do you represent? What do you stand for? What ideas and notions pop up as soon as someone hears your name? Once you’ve made sure that your personal information is only viewable by who you want to see it, start building your professional brand. This will serve a couple of purposes. In addition to give information that showcases your talents for potential employers, it’s also information that, if created properly, will bump the not-so-good stuff down the list in Google. That way, any prospective employer who Googles you, should see what you want them to see – your professional branding.

Professional Branding Tools

  • JibberJobber– Use JibberJobber to keep track of those networking contacts and keep a log of how they have helped you.

  • LinkedIn – Create a LinkedIn profile and start connecting. Ask and answer LinkedIn questions to increase your visibility.

  •  VisualCV – Create a VisualCV to share with contacts and prospective employers.

  • Write a Blog – I know everyone, almost literally, has a blog these days. However, a well-written blog focused on your area of expertise is another good addition to your professional branding package.

  • Create a Presence – Comment on other people’s blogs, write some articles, go to industry meetings, conventions, and events, and make contacts in your field. Be sure that all your endeavors are focused and relevant to both your skills and your career goals.

  • Build a Web Site – Consider a web site to create and showcase your brand. Many web hosting services have built in web building tools and it’s quick and easy to build a site that reflects your professional presence.

  • Get Your Name Out There – Try to meet, either online or in-person, the important people in your field. Send them an email or a message via their web site or networking profiles. Over the years, I’ve met lots of the important people in the world of job searching and careers, many of them because I sent them a quick email introducing myself or vice versa.

  • Volunteer If you have time and if there’s a way to volunteer in a capacity where you can use your skills and expertise, volunteering is another way to gain exposure as an expert in your career field. It’s a good resume building tool, as well.

       Don’t Slack Off

Building your brand isn’t a one shot deal. It takes time to build a solid presence and should be an ongoing endeavor. Keep your profiles up-to-date, stay in touch with your contacts, build and maintain your network, and work on your branding on a regular basis.

http://jobsearch.about.com/od/careeradviceresources/a/profbrand.htm

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