Have You Created Your Personal Brand Yet?

personal brand

Social Hiring has become a buzzword in the Recruitment industry. Perusing social media profiles of candidates is fast becoming a mandate within a lot of HR departments. 85% of the recruiters and HR professionals say that an employee’s personal brand influences their hiring decisions to some extent. Some recruiters also have a mandate to hire x% of their hires to be from social and referral channels.

It is being observed that the recruiters and HR folks are spending lesser and lesser times on Job boards such as HeadHonchos, IIMjobs, Naukri, etc. and more on forums such as LinkedIn, Twitter, StackOverflow, Meetup, Github, Behance, Hackerrank etc. to source candidates. Even specialised forums such as Sheroes also attract a lot of recruiters trying to attain their diversity goals.

Job Referrals continue to be one of the cheapest and better modes of recruitment for employers. Hence, building a network is as important as ever, and everybody should strive connecting with as many relevant executives in the company that one aspires to join as well as the general industry. Although LinkedIn is a good place to connect with several relevant folks from the industry, face-to-face forums such as meet-ups, conferences, workshops are a good place to create a few relationships. However, attending conferences, meet-ups is not always feasible given the work schedules and traffic conditions in cities.

As a result, creating and nurturing your personal brand has become a matter of necessity, both for Individuals as well as for Companies. The stats in this link prove that standing our of the crowd has become a necessity. The internet world has become noisy and in order to stand out from the crowd, it has become imperative that authority in a particular subject be showcased on relevant social media platforms.

Although social may seem quite intuitive, it is not very simple to project yourself in a certain area as an authority. There are just too many things to consider — prioritise which social profiles to keep active, consistency of your content/posts, gather only relevant followers, express opinions on industry trends/news. Every post/link/comment shared makes up your online presence and executing social the right way may probably determine whether you get that coveted job or someone else does.

Although you might find several hacks on the net, this is a long drawn process and requires concerted and continuous effort to build up a consistent online presence. Here are a few things to consider when planning your brand strategy –

  1. Identify key fields/areas that you want to establish your authority. The narrower the field/area, the better focus you can bring into your campaign and get it across followers.
  2. Social media updates do require a considerable amount of effort and time. Identify which social media accounts that really matter in your case depending on the field. It’s important to concentrate on a few and keep them alive. For e.g. For creative folks — Pinterest, Behance, Instagram may be the best choices whereas for finance professionals LinkedIn, Medium, Twitter might be more relevant.
  3. Maintain consistency across the social channels. Sharing similar content pertaining to your topics of interest would make your brand presence coherent across channels.
  4. Although sharing content is good, creating original content establishes authority. There are no shortcuts for creating original content. This can be any format — infographics, articles, comments/viewpoints on an article, etc. Keeping yourself active by publishing view points on articles on public forums such as HBR, Entrepreneur, Quora would help in putting yourself across a wider audience.
  5. Needless to say, any disparaging comments/photos/videos are a definite taboo. You can use services such as brandyourself which helps identify negative comments/posts on Facebook, Twitter.

Lastly, you can go through some hacks around personal branding to nail you job search in 2017 by downloading this e-book.

Sandeep Vadnere
Sandeep is the Co-Founder and heads Engineering and Product at HeadHonchos.
He has been a member of the core team since the company’s inception. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from the University of Mumbai and a Postgraduate Diploma in General Management from XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur.

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