Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SEO and YOU, the Job Seeker - Part Three

Personal branding is not just for celebrities anymore!

While most think that personal branding is just for people like Donald Trump or Oprah Winfrey, the fact is that each and every one of us is a brand, and each and every one of us should be managing that brand to maximize its effectiveness.

Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which people market themselves. Thanks to social media, non-celebrities can leverage the same strategies that make celebrities’ personal brands appeal to others.
Steps to personal branding:

  1. Think about the ‘face’ you want to show the world. A well thought out ‘face’ will be your key to success.

  2. Take the time to discover who you are. This includes figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, setting SMART goals for yourself, perhaps writing down a mission statement and putting that vision and personal brand statement down on paper. HINT: Consider how your closest friends view you. If your friends think of you as intelligent or witty, that is and should be part of your personal brand. If you can make the following statement hold true, you have been successful at discovering your personal brand:

    How you perceive yourself to be = How you are perceived by others

  3. Begin to build your Personal Brand Toolkit. Your toolkit should consist of the following elements:

    a. Business cards - These cards will represent you when you are not in the company of those who have your card. What does your business card say about you? Is it clean? Crisp? Does it have the same look and feel as your personal website? Same colours? Same font?

    b. Address book - Collect other people’s business cards and enter their data into your personal address book.

    c. Résumé/Cover Letter - Do these documents have the same look and feel as your business cards? Same font? Do these documents indicate that you also have a presence on social media?

    d. Social media - Do you have personal pages on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook? What do these sites say about you? HINT: Do a Google search on your name to suss out what other can find out about you.

    e. On-line portfolio - This is the Internet version of what some people call a ‘brag book’. Your personal brand can benefit form showing others what you can and have done. Can your provide samples of your written word, advertising copy, graphic designs, photographs, etc?

    f. Blog - If you are an expert in your field, this is a great way to demonstrate that knowledge. At the very minimum, you should be making comments on other people’s blog. This action will demonstrate that you are aware of trends and are interested in the subject.

    g. Wardrobe - Your personal style is tangible. Make a habit of always looking good by wearing colours that suit you and clothes that fit you well. You never know when someone will snap your photo and post it for the world to see.

    h. E-mail address - Use one that reflects your name. First name.Last name @ Wherever.com

  4. Don’t be fooled by the myth that “If you build it, they will come.”

Personal branding takes work. While refining your brand over time is desirable and doable, it is best to plan the road rather than rebuild it. After all, you won’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved.Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of Mary Salvino.“Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career Planning.com. This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at Mary.Salvino@shaw.ca