Once you know what direction you want to take your career in, the first step in your job search strategy should be to define your personal brand.
- Having a clear personal brand helps you to communicate, consistently and confidently, what you are passionate about along with your unique skills, strengths and the value you can add to an organisation. This enables a recruiter to tell straight away whether or not you could be the right person for the job.
- Having a clear personal brand also helps you to focus more on the types of jobs and companies that would interest you and therefore enables you to have a more targeted approach to your job search. By taking a more targeted approach, you are aligning your skills to those required for the job and your values to those of the organisation which means you will receive fewer rejection letters and are more likely to be asked for an interview.
- The stronger your personal brand, the more you will stand out and the easier it will be for you to make the sale and get the job.
Think about it, large companies spend millions creating and managing their brand because they know that it differentiates them and makes them stand out in their customers’ minds. Sales people rely heavily on their company’s brand to help them make a sale and the stronger the brand, the easier it is to sell. This is no different when you are looking for a job.
Since the majority of recruiters go to LinkedIn to find out more about potential candidates, how can you leverage your personal brand on LinkedIn so that the recruiters find you?
The answer lies in ensuring that you clearly reflect your personal brand in your profile summary.
In particular, you must make full use of your profile headline; recruiters enter keywords when searching for candidates so make sure that these same keywords appear in your headline – not only will this ensure that recruiters can find you on LinkedIn but so will other search engines like Google.
Your profile headline has space for 120 characters so use them effectively. Think about the keywords that recruiters might use to find someone in your field of work and use them.
Don’t leave it to LinkedIn to populate your headline because it will just enter your most recent job title.
You can really make yourself stand out by effectively using the 120 characters, just make sure that you do so in a comprehensible way and don’t load it with “fluff” words like “results oriented” or excellent communication skills” for example. These are statements that you can use in your profile summary so long as they reflect your personal brand and you can back them up with evidence to prove that you have used these skills to successfully add value to a job or project.
Remember, the more relevant your keywords, the more likely you will be found and the sooner you will hear about suitable job openings.
A keyword rich headline enables you to leverage your personal brand on LinkedIn and allows recruiters to find you!
contact me today if you are you struggling to determine and communicate your personal brand.