Developing your personal brand is more important now than it has ever been with the hyper-competitive job market and continued cut backs facing many organizations today. When the recruiter for XYZ organization is staring at a pile of applications a mile high, you as the applicant must have that little extra something to ensure that your resume stand out from the rest. Your resume brand can be anything from a tag line to deliver your message as to what makes you unique in your industry to simply being well known within your area or industry for excelling at one or two functions specifically.
Be extremely cautious regarding the content of your personal social networking sites. Most people are in love with social networking and the new worlds it has opened. Twitter MySpace and Facebook are the most popular, but remember that a Google search can also reveal blogs and or comments on media outlet publications as well. Just as you are searching the “Find Friends” section of Facebook for latent information on colleagues or acquaintances, you can bet your bottom dollar that they and potential employers are doing the same thing to you. So while you may be proud that you won the “Chili Cheese Fry” eating competition, you should not post the pictures on your social networking site if you allow public access. The best thing to do is to learn the features of all the sites and use the tools to limit public access to your information. Remember, if you do not allow “digital dirt” on the computer, then it cannot spread. Rule of thumb is to never post a picture or comment that you would not put on a resume or have read aloud in court.
Create a separate professional networking page on all of the social networking sites. Here, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and professional networking sites like LinkedIn can be your friend. Creating profiles that deliver the message of your unique ability in specific areas can possibly open doors that would have otherwise been closed to you.
Creating general profiles and statements may get you lost within the masses. For example, someone in the field of Human Resources would be very specific about their areas of expertise such as recruitment, training and development, or employee benefits. They may have a motto or slogan that they consistently associate with their name so that their “brand” becomes well known within their area or industry. The motto may be something like, “Employees: find them, train them, and develop them.”
Create a blog, white papers, or submit articles for a local media outlet or industry specific publication. Today everything “in print” is also searchable content on-line. Employers will be able to identify you with their specific needs if you are well known or related to the particular topic through your submission of articles and materials regarding subject matter in your area of expertise. You can create a blog on-line for free that can be updated as little as a few times a month. Here you can showcase your unique perspective, methods, and skills to help you stand apart from the rest.