One of the easiest ways for a job seeker to build a personal brand is by using social media platforms. You want to establish a digital identity that is professional, touts your past work and shows your skills.
LinkedIn is often considered the “professional” social media platform, and many employers (both traditional and contract) will look for you there. Even if you have a LinkedIn profile, it may not be reflective of the work you’ve done establishing a personal brand. Let’s look at three ways you can stand out on LinkedIn and showcase what makes you a top candidate for the position you’re seeking.
1. Update your profile regularly
It’s really easy to “set it and forget it” when you set up social media pages or profiles. On LinkedIn, there are opportunities to state your skills and past jobs, but there is a lot more you can do. From your profile page, click the right side button that says “Add New Profile Section” and make sure you add current projects, certifications, and courses.
As part of establishing your personal brand, you may have identified areas you want to highlight. When you go back into your LinkedIn profile, add details to those jobs and skills that are a big part of your personal branding.
Take advantage of the ability to make status updates on LinkedIn to discuss projects you’re involved with or interesting articles you’re reading related to your industry. Talk about any trade shows or conferences you’re attending before you go, and after you return, discuss your takeaways. There’s less use of images on LinkedIn than other platforms, so including an image from an event can help you stand out. More people who see your updates and profile on LinkedIn are likely to visit your website, and those visitors turn into leads at much higher rates than visitors from other social media platforms.
Remember that it’s not as common to get feedback (on LinkedIn, that’s likes or comments) as on some social media platforms, especially when you are just starting to post consistently. That’s okay! Expand your network when you meet new people in your field, comment on others’ updates and stay involved — the likes will follow.
3. Ask for recommendations
It can be hard to reach out to others and you may be a little worried about what they’ll say. But recommendations are like product reviews for your personal brand. A BrightLocal survey shows that 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal feedback. What’s more, 7 of 10 people said they’d be willing to leave a review if asked. These stats also apply to recommendations, making them invaluable to building trust in your personal brand.
You’re also helping to reinforce your personal brand when you have recommendations on your profile that back up the skills and projects you’ve emphasized. Don’t be afraid to ask those who recommend you to discuss a specific project you worked on together and to be detailed about one or two things instead of giving a sweeping review of your entire career.
For more help with your personal brand, register for ProTilly’s Personal Marketing Workshop. You’ll learn more ways to show your value to potential employers, both online and in the real world.