Applicants Personal Branding15. October 2010
The Internet and the development of social media have had major impacts for recruiters both in terms of the variety of media through which to communicate with potential applicants as well as the resulting battle amongst recruiting organisations for the attention of candidates. However, these impacts have not been confined to solely effecting recruiters as aspiring candidates have also experienced consequences.
While initially the battle for attention may have been within the sphere of recruiters where employer branding seen as being key, this was quickly replicated amongst candidates with the spread and growth of personal branding to stand out from the ever-growing crowd of applicants. It should be emphasised though that not all attention from recruiters is a positive and to ensure that you are viewed in the light that you would wish to be viewed, it is essential to undertake some work on your personal brand.
To settle upon your desired personal 'brand', try to pinpoint exactly what it is you would like to be known for - what separates you from your contemporaries who might have a similar background or skills base to you? Put most simply, what competencies or attributes do you have (or are developing) that will make people want to work with or employ you, or what value could you add to an organisation?
There's a difference between a prospective employer knowing that you have knowledge or experience in a certain field and trusting that you'll do a good job for their organisation or representing their company desirably to clients. Essentially, while personal branding is important, it is the communication of that brand to the desired audience that is of most importance.You can do this by attending events, writing articles, publishing or commenting on blogs, developing a presence and connecting with people on social networks, and reaching out to the press. Consistency of communication and presentation is also of high importance but once the work has been done in deciding upon, developing and communicating your personal brand message, you will hopefully have increased your career options in a potentially unpredictable economy. Just remember the two key questions; for what do you want to be known? And, what is it that sets you apart from the masses?