In years gone by, the job application process was one that relied primarily on the CV and the interview. Those interested in throwing their hat into the ring for the latest equity analyst vacancies generally relied on a strong CV and plenty of interview preparation in order to stand out from the crowd and hopefully be picked up and taken on board. This continued long past the introduction of the web-based recruitment portal and the digital CV, but as of 2015 there’s a pretty epic revolution going on in the way recruiters and employers approach both the recruitment process and the candidates seeking jobs.
Now more than ever, personal branding is playing a hugely pivotal role in the recruitment process across the board. In short, personal branding refers to the process of creating something of an image and a reputation for yourself that very much speaks for itself, as opposed to having to simply plead your case in a thirty-minute pitch. If your branding is strong enough, not only will you stand out from the crowd but you stand every chance of being head-hunted by those on the lookout for the best talent out there. The really good news being that the majority of those looking for high-profile jobs have not yet caught up with current trends and are yet to give their own branding efforts sufficient attention.
Or in other words, there’s still plenty of time to get ahead of the curve, but what exactly can you do to make this happen?
Know What You Want
Well, first of all like any brand out there you need to know what you want. You’ll effectively be pitching yourself for something on a 24/7 basis, so the first thing to do is to decide exactly what it is you’d like to achieve long-term. This will shape and mould every single element of your branding process from start to finish so it’s important to be specific and determined. Instead of just saying you want to work in research analysis, think at what level, in what capacity and with which company.
It’s rarely effective to pitch yourself as an all-rounder as in these very focused lines of work, businesses are more interested in those that are focused on and committed to very specific things. As such, what you’ll need to do is to identify your unique selling points – as in what makes you different and better than your rival candidates – and focus your attention on these. This may take some doing as it needs to be a USP that everyone else isn’t already trying to sell, so think about who you are, what you do and what you can do in order to come up with something that’s genuinely of high appeal.
The key to successful personal branding is consistency. This means that if you present yourself as a consummate professional who lives and breathes data on LinkedIn, you should be willing to live your life in such a way. From Facebook to Twitter and so on and so forth, anywhere you have any kind of presence or fingerprint you need to keep things consistent. And this does mean literally as well as theoretically – use the same photos, the same blurbs and the same information about yourself no matter where you might pop up.
Post and Update Every Single Day
When a recruiter or employer comes across a profile or blog that hasn’t been updated for a while, they may get the impression that this is an individual that’s lost interest in the subject. By contrast, when they come across a profile that’s clearly being updated on a pretty constant basis with relevant and interesting posts, they’ll immediately know that this is a person that means business and has a genuine passion for what they do. Suffice to say it’s the latter that can be pure gold for the recruitment process as rather than just telling them you’re the real deal, they get to see it for themselves and make that judgement call without being prompted.
Write a Compelling Slogan
Last but not least, the power of a catchy and memorable slogan is quite remarkable – if a little tricky to pull off for those making the things up. The trouble here being that if you come up with something that’s wholly cheesy and unremarkable, there’s a good chance you’ll be remembered for all the wrong reasons. By contrast, if you can genuinely summarise who you are and what you do in the form of a tagline that’s memorable in a positive way, it could help boost your personal branding no end.