Not Just LinkedIn: How to Brand Yourself Online When Job Hunting

Business.com / Careers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

LinkedIn is one of the most popular ways to brand yourself online when job searching. However, there are other success ways to do this too.

The State of B2B Social Media Marketing 2015 report said that 91 percent of marketers use LinkedIn. Why does this matter to you as someone who’s looking for a job?

The reality is you are a brand. You have to treat yourself as a product. Sell yourself to a business.

The principles of B2B marketing apply just as much to you as they do to a corporate entity. The job hunt goes further than simply creating a profile on LinkedIn, although it helps.

We’re going to show you how to go about branding yourself to improve your chances in the job market.

The Importance of Branding the Right Way

You may believe that you already know what companies want, but do you really?

Let’s take a look and we can see that one prominent branding figure Richard Firth, CTO of JDP Limited, said, “With an on-demand market strategy, you aren’t trying to buy the views of potential customers but are presenting your service to customers who want that service.”

In practical terms, forget the flowery language and nonsense titles of the last decade. Prospective employers want to know everything about you…yesterday. That is the principle of branding we will work on in this guide.

Related Article: How to Promote Your Personal and Professional Brand Using LinkedIn

Smile and Look Pretty

We as humans are more likely to take something on board if we can see it, or if it plays out in front of us. It’s why if we asked you to memorize the first line of chapter four of your favorite book you would have a hard time telling us. However, if we asked you to describe your last day of high school you could do it easily because it happened in front of your eyes.

This is the approach to branding you have to go for. Companies are going to take one look at you and make an instant judgment. The experts at Sprout Social reported that on social media people are 98 percent more likely to respond to an image than a piece of text.

So with that in mind, you have to create a platform dedicated to you. That includes:

  • A professional website that says all the things you want it to say.
  • Images that capture the best of you. Do you have a clear photo of yourself?
  • Are you dressing the part when you attend networking events in public? 

Your Unique Selling Point

Like any product, you must have a unique selling point. Too many job seekers make the mistake of trying to cater to employers. It may sound like the right option, but it’s actually the worst thing you can you do.

Employers see right through it. They know when you are pretending to be the person you’re not. When you act like yourself, it comes through freely and naturally.

Identify your unique selling point and brand yourself based on that. Begin by using keywords on your website and on any social media profiles you have. It will make it more likely that you are going to show up in the search results.

Show off any previous projects that illustrate your skills. In addition, the key is to do it repeatedly. The more times you tell someone something the more likely they are to take it in.

Why Are You Better Than the Competition?

This is the key question you have to answer. You might think you are creative and exciting, but the reality is you’re not a special snowflake. Employers will find ten people who claim to be ‘innovative’ and who can ‘work as a team’.

You’ll have to do better than that if you’re going to get the job.

Related Article: 4 Secret Ingredients For LinkedIn Content Marketing Success

First, think about some unique experiences and projects you have worked on in the past. We’re going to give you two examples to illustrate this point.

  1. Employee A worked at Home Depot negotiating with the rest of the team over who would take the late shift. They compromised and that supposedly demonstrates the ability to negotiate and work as a team.
  2. Employee B organized an international whale festival to promote sustainable whale watching. They drew together their team and helped to bring in guests from 30 different nationalities.

Now, what sounds more intriguing? Both demonstrate the same skills on different scales. Nevertheless, you have to admit employee B already sounds like more of a candidate than employee A.

Become Your Own Business

Don’t stop at simply crawling after companies you like the look of. Become your own company. Treat your brand in the same way and you will soon have people calling. Starting your own blog is the first step on the road to that job.

There are numerous reasons to start a blog, but the biggest one is to show you are proactive and you’re not simply writing resumes all day. This shows that you have nothing going on outside of that.

Employers want to see people who can take action by themselves. You don’t have to write about anything interesting. Simply show people what you are doing in your daily life. Maybe you went to an exciting networking event? On the other hand, maybe you want to write something based around the selfie you just took with a local business leader.

It doesn’t matter if you gain a worldwide following. What matters is that you’re branding yourself, increasing your notoriety in the search engines, and making it more likely that someone is going to take notice.

Related Article: Should You Be Blogging on LinkedIn?

But What About LinkedIn?

Yes, we have completely disregarded LinkedIn as part of this guide. Not for one moment are we suggesting that you abandon this platform. It remains one of the most effective tools available. To make it work for you, spend some time each day:

  • Keeping your profile active.
  • Posting blogs.
  • Interacting in networking groups.

The main lesson here is that this is just a small tool available to you. Look farther afield for more branding options and you’re going to be more likely to get that dream job.

Conclusion

Finding the perfect job does take time. If possible, we recommend lining up a job before you quit your current one. This takes the strain away from you and prevents you from taking the first job you see simply to pay the bills.

Think career and long-term gain, not any job and short-term gain.

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