Published on August 4, 2020
Written by Nathalia Silva
Founder and Women TechMakers Lead, Women Developers Toronto
In my first years in the tech industry, I realized that many people in my network were struggling when looking for a job. On the other hand, some of my colleagues were having a much better experience with their job hunt.
Later on, I started looking into the reasons why job searches are so tricky. Then, I realized that even professionals that were applying for high-demand jobs were not hearing back from tech companies.
At first, I thought that the problem was either poor resumes or low-quality interviews, but I was wrong. The causes of the problem were much deeper.
According to Forbes (2017), 80% of jobs are not on job boards. In addition, the go-to website for job hunters, Glassdoor, stated in 2019 that out of Glassdoor’s users who interviewed at Apple, only 55% applied online.
How is this possible? The answer is easy: Personal Brand! If I were to put into words the meaning of the personal brand, I would say that it is the process of developing strategy and actions to guide a presence/reputation.
Personal branding is mainly a way of marketing a person. In truth, since we live in a digital age, most individuals have a personal brand on the web. This sort of marketing is meant to create awareness, build trust, create reputation, raise perception, and make a first impression before in-person meetings.
Now that we know what personal branding is, here is what you need in order to have a strong online presence.
Start your brand development
When you start working on your personal brand, it is important to understand who you are as an individual. Think about your brand identification and your persona. This step is very important, so take your time to figure this out.
Reflect on your values, passions, motivations and everything that makes you a unique person. You should also make sure to think about your skills because they will help set you apart.
Establish the meaning of your brand
After identifying your persona, you are ready to work on your brand meaning. It is important that you define your mission statement.
A mission statement is a short and clear motto that encapsulates the ideals of your overall goal. In other words, your mission is your promise; your way of putting your skills and uniqueness together for an objective.
Tell your story
Now it is time to put your life into words! This is the step where you tell the world your story. You can think of this step as your Elevator Pitch which is a quick and persuasive speech about you, your experiences and your interests. A good pitch will balance your goals and values.
Think about the question ‘What about you?’. This step is mostly about your brand response, and how you make people feel about you. When you tell your story, it is important to keep in mind that a simple 30-seconds elevator pitch can help you have direct responses from a target audience such as recruiters and hiring managers.
Remember your ‘why’
Working on your personal brand will not be simple, so you need to remind yourself why you do what you do. Think again about your mission statement and the reason why you want to become more visible on the web.
Keep in mind the benefits of having a strong Personal Brand, and always remember that your brand works for you 24 hours per day. Rest assured that a positive online presence can help you with a future career advancement.
Now that you know why to invest in your brand, share your values with the world and highlight your relevance and expertise. Start by creating content on popular platforms like LinkedIn, Medium and GitHub.
Just do it!
It’s simple to get started. First, create unique and relevant content; then, share it on two different social media platforms. Using multiple platforms for sharing the same content is a good strategy when trying to reach a greater audience. At work, aim to create unique contributions and always ask a question at every meeting you attend.
When creating content, it is easy to catch yourself overthinking or to avoid hitting the ‘send’ button. Just do it! You are simply establishing communication with others, so try not to overthink it too much. Practice makes perfect.
Once you start creating data and having an online footprint, stay consistent and relevant.
In our highly competitive digital world, it is crucial to keep ourselves relevant and marketable. Make sure that you are always enhancing yourself, and keep on showing it.
A personal brand is an impression of an individual upon their values, story, experience, expertise and goals. Creating a good personal brand can take work, but it is also one of the easiest ways to get noticed in the job market.
Explore your personal branding as much as you can, always keeping in mind that :
- You must remember to tell your story
- No one is perfect, so don’t overthink when creating content about yourself
- Your Personal Brand can be the way to reach your professional goals
- Brands can always be modified
- If you don’t define your Personal Brand, others will