The importance of building a strong personal brand
Let's start with this: The resume is not dead, although it can be improved
A resume is still an important part of the hiring process. You need a strong resume to apply for most job opportunities whether you are applying in-person, through an application tracking system or by email. Your resume, when done well, should tell a story about who you are, the experiences you've had, and your intent to apply. You may have all of the skills needed and be a perfect fit for the company's culture, but if you do not communicate or express that on your resume, chances are, your resume will be overlooked and put into the 'no' pile right away.
Here's why your personal Brand is so important.
Unfortunately, there is a large population of candidates out there that do not have a strong resume. They've thrown words down onto a piece of paper and hope and pray that something catches the recruiters eye. The lack of strong resumes being submitted means that the recruiter has to cross-reference the candidates resume to an online social media profile whether through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and so forth. Cross-referencing used to be frowned upon 4-5 years ago as it was seen as an invasion of privacy, but has now become a common practise amongst many companies. Why? Because Recruiters want to know that what you say on paper, matches who you really are and whether you will be a fit for the company's brand.
The term 'Cultural fit' has become a buzz word in the recruitment industry, but what does it really mean? To me, it means that the candidate being considered for the position is aligned with the company's vision, mission and core values. They believe that what the company is doing is right and will most likely have a high- level of trust with the leadership team and the direction they are leading the company. Individuals who are aligned with the company's vision, mission and core values tend to stay with the company for a longer period of time and stay actively engaged when compared with those who are not aligned with the company values. Keep an eye on the next blog post: How to find your tribe.
So where does Personal Branding fit in with the company's need to find someone who is a cultural fit?
Just think about it this way: Your resume and social media profile is part of your personal brand, It's the message you send out to the world and the company you are applying for. You don't need to have a fancy website, blog, or an about.me page to communicate who you are as your resume and social profiles do just that. Recruiters utilize social media as a second source to the candidates resume. As mentioned above, recruiters want to know that what you say on paper, matches who you really are and whether or not you'd be a fit for the company. If your resume states that you are a outdoors junkie and that you love biking and your social media profile shows the opposite, chances are you have just lost a significant amount of trust with the recruiter and risk the opportunity of being considered for the position that you are applying for.
So what are some easy ways you can improve your own personal brand?
1. Update your resume and ensure it communicates who you are.
2. Build a presence on LinkedIn. Add a professional photo, summary about who you are and the experience you've had in your career to date. Connect with like-minded individuals to expand your network.
3. Scan your Social Media profiles for any content or comments that you do align with the message you want to communicate. If you are actively searching for jobs, you will want to increase the professionalism of your profile, but still keep it fun so that it shows who you are in your daily life, outside of work.
If you are someone who does not share their photos or who does not want just anyone to access your account, you're not alone. This doesn't mean you have something to hide, it just means that you would rather keep your photos amongst family and friends, and yes, that's okay. I do have friends who lock their social media accounts as they don't feel comfortable with a random person looking at their life, which is fair. If you want to share your photos with family and friends, but are not interested in sharing them with the world, then I highly recommend locking your account and increasing the privacy settings.
Just make sure your resume communicates your professional and personal value and that you have a strong presence on LinkedIn.....as the Recruiter will check out your page.
Need help with your Resume or Personal Brand? Check out our Living Culture packages here.