Now is the time to build your personal and professional online brand

Posting date:24 Apr 2020

Time is always of the essence when a new role presents itself and you don’t want to be scrabbling to get your CV or LinkedIn profile updated at the very last minute. So, if you’re searching for new opportunities in these difficult times, and potentially job hunting from your sofa, make sure you use this time wisely and get prepared now.This should include the development of your personal and professional online brand. Ensuring that your social media profiles and interactions online reflect your professional skills and experience, will increase your chances of being contacted by a prospective employer or recruiter. 

What is your online brand?

In short, it’s your reputation online. Each interaction you have with others online has the opportunity to create a memorable experience, teaching them what they can expect from you. When you’re consistent in delivering those experiences, you build a strong reputation. Delivering your brand clearly and consistently across a wide audience helps open doors to new opportunities. 

Employers will look at both your social and professional profiles 

Your personal brand is how you show yourself to your friends, while your professional brand is how your employers and colleagues see you. Be aware that potential employers are likely to look at both your social and professional profiles and your interactions online to get a reflection of you. Always be careful about what you post or share, and make sure you’re always presenting your best side. 

Are your online interactions a positive and accurate reflection of your professional skills and experience? Have you done a Google search of yourself lately? What does it reveal to potential employers and what does it say about you? If what comes up doesn’t back up your professional expertise or show you in the best light, you will need to do something about it.

Optimise your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn has become by far the most useful tool for building your professional brand online. It is the place to be seen when it comes to jobs and new careers. However, there are more than 562 million professionals on LinkedIn, so you must ensure that your profile is visible and that you stand out, before you can even think about leveraging your connections to find a new role.  

Did you know that a person with a fully complete LinkedIn profile is 40 times more likely to receive job opportunities via LinkedIn? The main reason to complete your profile is to ensure that you appear in LinkedIn search results. To ensure your profile has the best chance of being visible and to get an ‘All Star’ rating be sure to include:

1. Industry & location

2. Skills (min of 3)

3. Profile photo

4. Current position (with description) 

5. Two past positions

6. Education

7. 50+ connections

Leverage your LinkedIn connections

Once fully complete and up to date, your profile on LinkedIn provides the perfect platform to engage with new contacts and re-establish old connections. Doing this will grow your professional network and can help with your job search. 

Start by sending friendly, private messages to your connections asking if they might know of anyone in their network who might need your expertise. You may feel apprehensive about reaching out to ex-colleagues when starting a new job search but so long as you left on good terms, you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Most like-minded professionals take great pride from being well-connected and don’t mind being approached or helping out ex-colleagues in this way. 

For our full recommendations and a step-by-step guide to optimising your profile and using LinkedIn effectively, please get in touch.