As a senior level professional, you’ve almost certainly heard of personal branding. Implementing it into your professional life, however, is a very different story. The idea of establishing and maintaining a personal brand is very new after all, having arrived on the coat tails of the Internet and the rest of today’s technology. If you’ve spent a considerable amount of time assuming c-level personal branding isn’t worth your time, you may want to reconsider! This is a very important aspect of your professional career, for a few significant reasons.
Personal Branding Sets You Apart
While this line sounds cliché, it is very much the truth. Consider these questions:
How do you stack up against your competitors?
Would your degree(s) be enough to convince companies to hire you instead of someone else?
Thousands of other people hold the exact same academic achievements as you. Plus, the longer you’ve been out of school, the less your academic career matters. It’s the sad reality that many people face.
Rather than focusing on this, look back on the other accomplishments you’ve earned within your field. Think about who you are as a executive and a person. Personal branding for senior level managers involves getting to the meat of these two concepts. It involves presenting your positive qualities and expertise in a way that appeals much more readily to those in charge of hiring you.
You’ll Experience a Quality Jump with Your Job Search
Naturally, focusing on your skills and personal talents boosts your own self image. This means you will become far less likely to settle for just any position that matches your skill set. You will gradually start to approach your job search in a different way as your personal brand gains more and more attention. Once this happens, it will enable you to think about what you really want from a company and what conditions you are not willing to deal with.
As a result, you will start to push forward with your professional life and only accept those who meet your newfound standards. If the idea of constant professional growth appeals to you, then you’ll want to put together your personal brand as soon as possible.
Your Personal Brand Gains You More Benefits and Professional Success
Simply put, a personal brand boosts your chances of being hired. It creates a clear picture of your strengths and what you can offer a company, which will appeal quickly to employers. If you’re currently struggling with your job search, a personal brand may help you finally find the position you’ve been so diligently seeking in ways you could never have anticipated!
Answering the tough questions can enhance your personal branding.
For some, the executive resume cover letter and executive bio are the easy part. These individuals may feel confident in the way they look on paper, but when it comes to the interview, they may fear the tough questions and just don’t know how to answer them. Facing these types of questions when you aren’t prepared can create the wrong impression, costing you the job you’re looking for.
What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
You spend a lot of time filling your executive bio with examples of your strengths to show your prospective employer why you are the perfect candidate. It’s all part of your personal branding. Unfortunately, this is one of the most commonly asked questions. The key is selecting a weakness that has little to no impact on the position for which you are applying. Carefully read through the job description before you make your choice. In addition to letting them know what your weakness is, address how you are working toward strengthening this area.
Why Is There a Gap in Your Work History?
There are a number of circumstances that can lead to gaps in your work history. Perhaps you took time off to raise children or maybe you were laid off and had difficulty finding a new position due to a declining economy. While you can’t make up a job to fill in the gaps, mention volunteer work and other activities you did during those periods of unemployment. Anything that shows you remained productive during those times can help pad your resume.
Tell Me About Yourself
This may seem like a way to learn about your personal life, but most employers don’t want to hear about your family or your latest vacation. Instead, they use this question to learn in your words about your career past. Talk about your education and your past jobs, particularly your last career. Keep this portion of the interview short and to the point.
Has a Supervisor Ever Challenged Your Choices?
When interviewers ask this question, they aren’t checking to see if you’ve made mistakes in your past job. Instead, they are interested in how you handle controversy and how you resolve issues with your superiors. Be sure your answer reflects humility and shows you learned a lesson from the encounter. Don’t badmouth your past supervisors or give the impression you were in the right.
Tough questions are all a part of the interview process. In many cases, it’s not about the exact answer you give. In fact, many of these questions are designed to gauge how you respond to specific situations and help an employer determine if you are a good fit for their company. Learning how to handle even the difficult questions with confidence will increase your odds of landing the job you want, especially if a good interview is accompanied by an excellent executive bio.
Online Branding: Why You Should Do It Before You Need It
Nowadays, the most successful marketing campaigns are those that extend beyond traditional forms of marketing (print, radio, even TV) and into internet and online marketing and branding. The same is true about personal branding. In order to have the most successful marketing of yourself, you need to focus a lot on branding yourself online. And you need to make sure that your “campaign” is up and running long before you are ever contacted for a job. Having an established online profile of yourself before you need it will not only ease the stress of creating a phenomenal online branding for yourself, but will also show potential employers that you are at the top of your game and a step above other potential candidates. If the idea of branding yourself online is stressful or overwhelming, then just start small. Start with a LinkedIn profile. This will give you the perfect start to branding yourself online. It is simple and professional and is the networking that most businesses use.
On your profile, make sure to include these things in order to ensure the most effective branding:
Show your expertise as much as possible
Publicize your successes and achievements
Make sure you are easy for potential employers to contact (phone number, email, other forms of communication)
These things are easy to do and they will make your profile, and thus yourself, look impressive and professional. Of course none of this will do you any good if it is not established on your personal branding sites before you look for a job or are contacted about a job. It is easy enough to do so why not jump the gun and be one step ahead of your competition?
Are Your Social Media Profiles Speaking For You or Against You?
Social media is a great tool for your job search and job application process because it allows you to get your name out to the entire world. Employers are starting to utilize social media sites to not only find prospective applicants, but also to investigate current applicants. This means that you need to make sure that your online profiles are showing off your best attributes and give the impressiona that you would be a great employee.
Here are some things that you should be aware of so you don’t lose opportunities due to what is on your profile.
Vulgarity or Obscenities: Refrain from including vulgar or obscene words in your profile or your posts. These could be offensive to employers and could give them a bad impression of you. You also need to watch what your “friends” post on your profile. While you may not have posted the information yourself, the content still reflects on you.
Negativity: If you have a lot of posts that are negative or if you are overly negative in your own posts, you can put off employers. Employers don’t want to work with people who are negative and will bring them down. So
Bad Talking About People: If you talk bad about people in your life currently, then what will keep you from talking bad about your potential coworkers or employers? Even though you may say, “I would never talk bad about my employers on the internet!” the potential employers looking at your profile will not know that. They will only know what they can see in your posts.
Social media can be a great tool for your job search. However, if not used properly, it can also be one of the biggest obstacles in your search. But make sure that you utilize it so you get the most desirable results and check to ensure that you don’t have anything on your profiles that could be harmful to your opportunities.
Personal branding is, in the simplest definition, the way you market yourself. It is the way the world, and potential employers, view you. And if used correctly, your personal brand can land you that job. Since your personal brand is the first impression that employers can get from you, you need to ensure that it is creating the impression that will represent you in a way that gets you a job. This means it needs to be professional. Whatever you say, write, or do, that is linked to your professional brand needs to be professional so that you can avoid embarrassment and avoid losing those important job opportunities. Think about what you want to present and make sure that everything you put out reflects that. Be careful that when you are making a professional brand you don’t make it boring or impersonal. It is still your brand. Let potential employers know who you are. They are not looking to hire a robot. They are looking to hire a person with whom they can work every single day. Let them know you can be that person. In order to ensure that your brand is seen and recognized by employers you need to spread it far and wide. Put your name out there. Put it on Facebook, put it on Twitter, put it on Tumblr, put it on LinkedIn, start a blog. Do all these things and advertise them on all the other sites you are a part of. Make it easy for potential employers to find you. These are fairly simple things to do, but they do take some time and careful planning. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, then you will be able to create a personal brand that will land you that job you want.
As hard as it sounds, many employers look at you as an asset rather than a person. This doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate you – but it means that they look at what you can offer to the company as a whole rather than an as an individual. This means that you need to look at your personal branding methods and how you can make sure that you are seen as the best possible asset for a company to have. There are different ways that you can do this, but the whole point is to look at what you do as a whole rather than the individual aspects that these offer. This means that you need to look at your resume and your cover letter, and even what to wear to an interview – to help make sure that you are seen as a valuable asset to any company. You need to make sure that a company sees you as a must-have brand, something that they feel their business can’t do without! Sell yourself and create a little bit of a buzz about you, so that they are curious about what they are missing out on – which will encourage them to employ you! Personal branding is easy to implement, especially if you take a sensible approach and make sure that you think about what an employer is looking for and how you can accommodate this.