Should You Invest Money In Your Personal Brand During A Job Search?

by Guest on July 20, 2017

Your professional image while you’re searching for a job is like your home while you’re trying to sell it. It must impress all the time. You never know when a potential buyer – or employer – might want to take a look.

That’s where personal branding comes in. It maintains your professional image online, whether or not you’re there. As with selling a house, you can manage it yourself or invest in professionals.

What is a personal brand?

You already have a personal brand. It’s your unique combination of qualifications, talents, strengths, personal qualities, and reputation. It’s the authentic you and how other people see you.

Your resume, your blog, your social media posts, and your LinkedIn profile are all elements of your personal brand. The impression you create in person is also part of it.

When you manage your personal brand effectively, you can use it to position yourself in your field as you want others to see you. If you don’t manage it effectively, you risk being passed over because of the impression your brand creates.

Your personal brand during your job search

While you’re searching for that ideal job, employers are searching for ideal candidates.

Nearly 80 percent of recruiters are required to conduct an online search of applicants. Over half of the employers surveyed in a CareerBuilder survey, 54 percent, have found information in social media profiles that made them decide not to interview applicants.

Not having public social media profiles can be just as much of a deterrent to employers. If they can’t find you online, 57 percent of employers are less likely to interview you.

Online visibility isn’t enough. For your personal brand to help rather than hinder your job search, you need to shape it to bring out your best qualities. You might also need to tweak your image when you meet people, especially prospective employers.

What qualities do you need to project to get the position you want?

You also need to make sure your job search aligns with your personal brand. If you work in tech, you shouldn’t be applying to niche job sites for medical work. If you live in Louisiana, you shouldn’t be cruising job boards in New York. If you want to work in the private sector, don’t apply for government jobs.

Don’t be unrealistic. Apply for jobs in your industry, in your area, and do work that you actually want to do.

When to invest money in your personal brand during a job search

With so much at stake, it’s important that your personal brand quickly and effectively communicates the right message and image.

Do you want to learn how to craft and control your personal brand? Or would it be more profitable to hire experts to develop and manage it while you focus on your job search?

The cost of professional help to improve your personal brand is an investment in yourself and in your career. The cost could pay for itself when you land that job you’re superbly qualified for.

Depending on your financial situation, your time, and your personal preferences, consider hiring professionals for some or all of the following.

Personal branding coach

Some personal branding coaches work with all aspects of personal branding, while others specialize in specific areas, such as job interview preparation.

If you hire a personal branding coach, you’ll get a non-biased opinion on how your personal brand looks to others. You’ll receive training in areas such as how to present yourself through social media and at networking events.

You’ll learn how to identify and leverage your strongest qualities and to position yourself as knowledgeable in your field.

Professional resume writer

Today’s successful resumes do much more than describe past and current jobs. They convey your brand and illustrate it through your accomplishments. They showcase your unique value.

Good professional resume writers know how to shape your skills and successes as part of your brand. Be aware, though, that the marketplace is flooded with people who have adequate resume writing skills. Only some have the skills to create a professional resume that will make you and your brand stand out against the competition.

Whether you hire a professional resume writer or design and write your resume yourself, include a personal branding statement below your name. Also include links to your LinkedIn and other professional social media profiles.

LinkedIn profile writer

Even when you aren’t searching for a new job, your LinkedIn profile can help you find one. With a professional-quality profile, recruiters or employers may find you. If they’ve already heard from you about a position, they will almost certainly check your LinkedIn profile before deciding whether to schedule an interview.

A professional portrait for your LinkedIn profile will increase the number of views. A poor-quality photo, or no photo, will detract from the impression your profile creates. A headline that communicates your brand, a completed profile with accomplishments and relevant keywords, links to articles you’ve written, and meaningful participation in discussions all round out your brand.

Many people have difficulty talking about their own achievements. If you’re one of them, or if you want your profile to attract more attention, consider hiring a professional to write your LinkedIn profile for you.

When you’re selling a house, a few changes can attract and impress buyers. Picture the result after improving the landscaping and painting the front door a welcoming color. Now picture the yard after a professional landscaper has worked on it.

The same principle applies to personal brands. Apply professional touches to your personal brand to bring out your highlights, and you’ll attract and impress employers. Invest in professionals to help you, and you’ll almost certainly get a return on your investment.

About The Author

Susan Ranford is an expert on job market trends, hiring, and business management. She is the Community Outreach Coordinator for New York Jobs. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them.


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