Effective personal branding can make all the difference in advancing your career in technology. Done correctly, it sets you apart from other candidates, showcases your specific skills, and puts your sector knowledge in the limelight. The pace of progression in technology means there is a greater need for candidates to demonstrate up-to-date skills through smart personal branding, both on and offline. Also, as more companies turn to social media for further insight on prospective employees, personal branding is becoming more and more important. In this blog, we explore some practical techniques to help you create and develop your own winning brand.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is the practice of positively promoting yourself and your career in a way that reflects your individuality, skills and experience. It is the essence of what makes you, you! Together, your online presence and the impression you give in person project your personal brand. When executed correctly, it is a powerful tool for both your professional and personal development.
How can I build my personal brand?
As you begin to build your own unique brand, ask yourself the below questions and consider them as honestly as you can:
What are my passions and interests?
What strengths do I have?
What are my goals?
What are the things that make me unique?
The answers will act as building blocks to creating your brand personality. Remember, you are not looking to create a false persona, you are communicating your unique attributes and abilities, so it’s important to be authentic.
Getting your personal brand right on LinkedIn
If you have had a LinkedIn profile and not been hugely active on it, now is the time to enhance your personal brand further by improving it!
Complete your profile - Firstly, make sure your profile is complete. It’s easy to miss out a few fields when you first set up an account, but leaving out headlines, skills and using an out-of-date photo can leave a poor impression. Job roles and responsibilities for tech positions change regularly so go through your profile, fill in the blanks, and make sure your CV is uploaded too.
Be active – Being seen as someone active in your sector has a positive bearing too. For example, if your career interest is in FinTech, then join LinkedIn groups where you can comment on subjects related to it, or share relevant posts. This kind of activity indirectly conveys the depth of your knowledge.
Write and share articles - Writing articles on LinkedIn provides a blank canvas for demonstrating your thoughts and opinions on relevant technical or sector-related issues. Choose a current topic and write it well – it doesn’t have to be long. Share other articles as well, and include your own perspective when you post.
Evaluating your social media activity
Your personal social media profile is just a few clicks away from a prospective new employer’s attention. Research shows that over two-thirds of companies screen potential candidates by looking at their social media profiles. They may dismiss the idea of a candidate based on the nature of posts and the content they engage with. Equally, a positive profile can result in a hire.
To ensure companies like what they see when they look at your Facebook or Instagram, think about the content you share and interact with. If there are comments, memes or posts that you’d prefer to be private, edit accordingly in your Privacy options. Try to look at your social media profile through the eyes of a new employer. Are the details on your profile aligned with the impression you want to give or have given in an application or CV?
Think about varying the social media you use too. For example, although you should be wary of sharing divisive opinions on Twitter, it is still a great platform for joining in with and starting conversations on business or technology issues. Your positive involvement will add to your personal brand, especially if you express your own spin on trending topics.
Creating a personal website/blog
If you are a tech professional, creating a personal website or blog can be of great benefit to your personal brand. A well-optimised site can help you be found more readily by search engines, and it’s a great way of ensuring positive results if employers Google you. You have complete control over the content, meaning you can highlight your key strengths and update new tech skills or achievements whenever you want. The flexibility of a blog or website also means you can write pieces or commentary on industry-related topics in your own time, at any length, and you can share them on your social media too!
Representing your brand in the real world
Although Google, Facebook and LinkedIn are instrumental in successful online personal branding, don’t forget the importance of face-to-face impressions, and ensure that what you are communicating online fits with who you are in real life too. While you can certainly express your individuality through your clothes, hair and makeup, it’s good to remind yourself that when making a positive impact, your personal appearance should be both presentable and professional as well. This will help make you more approachable in situations like networking and interviews. In professional settings, you should also employ good interpersonal skills including a positive attitude, confident and open body language, and active listening.
If you want to progress your career in a highly competitive and ever-evolving job market like technology, it’s important to embrace the concept of personal branding.
If you’d like support in creating your personal brand, our specialist consultants at La Fosse can give you all the advice you need. Simply get in touch with your dedicated consultant today or call us on 020 7932 1630 and we’ll put you through to the right team.
Where to next?
Why not check out our other ‘getting ahead’ blogs:
Getting ahead as a woman in tech