This is a Guest Post from Daniela Baker
If you’re actively looking for a job or presenting yourself as a passive job candidate, personal branding should most certainly be an important part of your search. What personal branding tools do you need to use? Here are six that every serious job seeker needs to start using today.
1. A Personal Website Address
Getting a web address with your name or some variation of it isn’t difficult at all these days, and it’s definitely something you want to do if you’re are looking to develop your personal brand for a job search. There are plenty of great web services that allow you to buy your own domain name and publish a website. WordPress, is a good option for many beginners, since it is so easy to use. It’s also a good idea to look for a service that allows you to have a personal email address attached to your domain name so that you can have a professional sounding address. A personal website is one of the most valuable personal branding tools available for job seekers in almost any industry.
2. A Blog
Attached to your web address, you should have a great content-rich, industry-specific blog. If you aren’t sure how to churn out great content for a business-related blog, check out the blogs of other professionals in your field. You can talk about the latest trends in your field, or let others know about major projects you’re working on and the steps you’re taking to get them accomplished. You can even include tips and tricks in your field for non-professionals who have questions about what you do. Any way you look at it, a blog is a good way to improve your keyword ranking and to impress hiring managers who are checking out your resume.
3. Business Cards
Business cards are still one of the simplest and most effective personal branding tools out there. Today, linking your business card to your website or blog and including your email address is an obviously important factor. A business card is still a great way to network in the “real world”, since you can pass them out to nearly anyone you meet, making new connections and ensuring that you will be remembered in the future.
4. QR Codes
These days, you can slap a custom QR code on almost anything, and since most people have Smartphone that can read them, they can be a great way for a job seeker to embed more information into business cards and even CV’s. There are loads of sites out there which will generate free QR codes. Put a QR code on the back of your business card that links to your website’s contact or about page, you could even include this feature on your CV. Even if hiring managers don’t actually use your QR codes, they’ll still be impressed with your tech savvy nature and the way you’ve managed to simply and effectively set your CV or business card apart from the crowd.
5. About Me Videos
Videos can be another excellent personal branding tool you can tie to your website or blog. Unless you’re an actor, you don’t necessarily want to send a DVD copy of your “about me” video to hiring managers with your resume, but including a professional video in your website can be a great idea. Write your own video script that incorporates your personality and passions with your business accomplishments, and then have a professional video editing service clean it up and give it some polish. Use a video rather than a typical “about me” page on your website to give it more flair and to make it more memorable.
If business cards seem a bit old-fashioned, stationery can seem even more so. But having a stack of nice thank you notes or even personalized but blank stationery can be a great personal branding tool. Because we live in an age of instant messaging and email, a personalized thank you note sent to a hiring manager the old fashioned way after an interview can really make you stand out from the crowd! You don’t need to pay a fortune for stationery, but investing in something that is personal and looks professional will pay off in the long run.
Are Personal Branding Tools Really Worth It?
You may be wondering if personal branding tools are really worth it, or if you can get away with an old-fashioned resume. The truth is, though, that personal branding is becoming a more important part of the hiring process for many businesses. According to one study, about 75% of US companies require hiring managers to research job applicants online, and about 89% of businesses using social networks for recruitment!
Those statistics alone illustrate that personal branding, particularly online branding tools, are definitely worth it. Plus, in today’s competitive job market, personal branding is a great way to make sure you set yourself apart from your competitors.
Daniela Baker is a social media advocate at CreditDonkey, a credit card applications website. Personal Branding is a vital part of any job applicant’s journey to success these days. Using tools like these will help set you apart from the crowd and will help you land your dream job. Read more from her team at their blog: http://www.creditdonkey.com/tip.html
This post is part of the Personal Branding Series, helping you develop a successful online presence.