Sunday, January 13, 2008

Build Authenticity During a Job Search With On-Line Personal Branding

I ran across a great post on personal branding over on the Shoestring Branding blog that advocates leveraging on-line technologies to achieve an authentic voice and become the candidate of choice for employers seeking talent. The blog's publisher, Mario Sanchez, discusses how many candidates in search turn their candidacy into a commodity by posting on multiple job boards rather than building a personal brand that showcases their unique value proposition and focuses on the key competencies that make them a real catch.

As Sanchez puts it, job seekers need to "come across as a real person in a low trust world." He recommends registering your name as a URL, setting up a personal website, and blogging on your brand or niche area of expertise.

If you're not ready to take these big steps yet, consider implementing one or more of these baby steps to create your on-line personal brand.

  1. Post comments on other people's blogs. By commenting on other people's blogs, you become a part of the discussion, build credibility, demonstrate your passion for your area of expertise, and create visibility. You can find blogs relevant to your profession, industry, and areas of knowledge by setting up Google Alerts on key words in your field.
  2. Set up some business networking profiles. On-line networking sites help you connect to a lot of people, 24/7, all over the world. They offer certain efficiencies that can't be duplicated in the non-virtual world, and while on-line networking should not be seen as a replacement to in-person networking, it is certainly an excellent add-on that every job seeker should take notice of. Linked In is great for business networking. Spoke, Ecademy, and Xing, are other sites that can add value to your business networking strategy.
  3. Build on-line identity through others. Zoom Info, Naymz, and Ziggs allow you to create professional profiles and bios and upload a photo. Ziggs even has a feature where you can answer certain interview-like questions and post your responses.
What have your experiences been with building your professional identity on-line? What works best for you and which groups or strategies give you the most personal satisfaction? Let us know.

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