Social media is the ravel of the moment and, by all indications so far, it would be so for a while. In these ‘new days’ of social networking, many find it even more comfortable to send a Facebook invite, follow you on Twitter or ask for your BlackBerry pin than ask for your mobile number. A funny trend, right? Welcome to the ‘new world’ my friend!
For every trend in the society, one can induce some applicability to every area of life. I know many have written and talked about social media marketing in all its form but little is said of how social media can be applicable to the job search process. From my point of view, as a recruiter, any job seeker that has a mind to win in the ‘talent war’ must take his/her job search seriously because job searching is a job in itself!
Traditional methods of job searching are gradually fading off with the emergence of ‘new methods’ – web 2.0, social media. The Internet age has brought with it online recruitment and now social media age births – social media recruitment or social recruiting. This is the age where job seekers need to embrace the job hunting side of social media and learn how to harness them to their benefit. This article would explore a major factors that would help job seekers standing out in the social media age of job searching.
“Build a personal brand that is attractive to employers” – About four years ago, I took a conscious decision to take charge of my personal brand both offline and online. And I have kept to just that ever since.
According to Wikipedia, personal branding is, for some people, a description of the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands. The personal branding concept suggests that success comes from ‘self-packaging’.
Tom Peters confirmed the concept of a personal brand, when he wrote a post titled “The brand called You” for fastcompany.com in August 1997. He went ahead to posit that “big companies understand the importance of brands.
Today, in the age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand.”
We live in a brand ‘new world’ of perception! You decide what others and, especially, what Google would say about you. How you are perceived as an individual goes to affect your career as well as the type of job you get. In this ‘new world’, employers/jobs are looking for personal brands instead of you looking for jobs. Hence, the need to take a conscious effort of taking charge of your personal brand, so as to attract employers.
In order for you to take charge of your personal brand (both offline and online), take note of the following useful tips:
•Decide ahead, how your personal brand would be perceived
A brand is all about perception, so is your personal brand. In order to communicate the right personal brand message to others, you have to consciously decide what that message is going to be. Would you like to be seen as a professional in your field of interest or an amateur? If a professional, in what field of interest? I must say that, that decision is yours to take.
•Create both an offline and online version of your personal brand
The next stage is for you to create that personal brand message you have decided to communicate to others.
Here, you add a face to your personal brand message. Communicating a professional personal brand requires you to have a professional email address, such as yourname(at)domain(dot)com and avoid unprofessional emails address like ‘lagosbigboz(at)domain.com’ or ‘bigmama4warri(at)domain.com; a professional resume; a professional blog/website (start a blog to show your expertise); professional social media accounts (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, You-tube etc depending on your target audience), this list is not exhaustive because you decide…
•Ensure consistency in your personal brand
For any brand to thrive, consistency of the brand message is key. Same holds for your personal brand. For example, your personal online presence needs consistency as well. You can achieve this by choosing a unique ‘brand name’ for most (if not all) of your online social media account.
Your full name (first name and your surname) is unique enough except yours is a popular name, even with that create a unique brand of your own. Please avoid the use of nicknames as much as you can. If you plan to stand out from the crowd of job seekers then, you need to be ready to do something unique.
It is not news that I use these steps for managing my personal brand and online presence. If you need to confirm that go ahead to ‘Google Segun Akiode’, without any doubt in my mind, I know what you would see in the search result even up to the fourth page.
I know this because I took a conscious effort to stand myself out of the crowd of human resource professionals in Nigeria and you too can do the same.
Now you have the steps, go ahead and put them to use of standing out as a job seeker or professional in your field of interest, you decide.
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