You probably know a little something about personal branding and the general tools you use to promote it, but in our fast-paced world, there are always new strategies and new technologies to keep up with. Here are some dos and don'ts to help you get your personal brand where you want it to be:
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1. Do Get Comfortable in Front of the Camera
With video interviewing platforms becoming more and more accessible, many companies are now starting the hiring process off with virtual interviews. Don't be surprised if your next interview process involves getting on camera, either for a live interview or a pre-recorded one. Start practicing now!
2. Do Have Something to Say
LinkedIn is the No. 1 platform for professional networking, finding a job, and sharing your personal brand with the world. Be sure to use it to its fullest potential.
You're no longer limited to writing status updates on LinkedIn. You now have the ability to write meaningful long-form content that shows off your industry knowledge. Write about what you know and share your unique point of view. Don't worry about gaining thousands of viewers for each post. The point of sharing posts on LinkedIn is so that when the right people land on your profile, they have access to your unique insights and get a taste of the professional value you can bring to the table.
3. Don't Mistake Your LinkedIn Profile for Another Version of Your Resume
While it might appear that LinkedIn is meant to present a summary of your work history, it is so much more than that. One day it may totally replace resumes altogether, but even then, it won't offer information in the same way. In addition to writing long-form content on the platform, you'll want to convey your professional story in a way that resonates with the reader and allows them to clearly understand your value proposition.
4. Don't Try to Fake It 'Til You Make It
Your personal brand is not a costume. It's not a disguise, nor is it who you hope to be one day in the not-so-distant future. Your brand is you – the authentic you that you are today and the unique talents you possess. Whatever platforms you're utilizing, make sure you stay true to the real you and maintain consistency.
5. Do Realize That Your Online Presence Has Limits
Being active on social media outlets is a great idea – just be sure not to publicly share things that are better left to private communications. It's usually best to stay out of heated online political debates. Don't share photos taken at the after-after-party, and try not to talk about your personal relationships (or lack thereof).
6. Don't Be Afraid to Get Creative
Now, more than ever, is the time to stand out. Why write a cover letter when you can send a video version of the same instead? This approach will soon be the norm, rather than the exception. Get noticed by being ahead of the curve!
7. Do Leverage Your Recommendations
You've gotten some great recommendations on LinkedIn, but why should that be the only place they are featured? You want your personal branding tools, such as your personal website and resume, to be interconnected. Share a hyperlinked excerpt of a recommendation on your resume that will direct the reader to your LinkedIn page. You can also use a similar tactic in a cover letter or on your personal site.
8. Don't Mistake Personal Branding for a Sales Pitch
Personal branding is meant to inform and make connections with people of interest. Yes, it is ultimately meant to make someone want to "but" what you have to offer, but the fact is people don't like to be "sold" on anything. They want to make informed decisions while remaining in control. Let your brand, however you choose to present it, speak for itself.
9. Do Challenge Yourself to Network More
Most job opportunities these days come from networking, but that's not to say you start networking when you decide you need a new job. You should constantly be cultivating your network. Put yourself out there. Be generous and gracious when people want to network with you.
10. Don't Sell Beer, Sell Warmth
Alfred Heineken often said, "I don't sell beer, I sell warmth." You must do the same. Don't tell people what you do – tell them what you accomplish. Share the results of what you do. They are so much more tangible and relatable than a list of your skills. Everyone loves results.
A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.
Michele Mavi is Atrium Staffing's resident career expert.