You might think about branding when it comes to marketing commercial products, but have you ever thought about marketing yourself? Just as a company would sell a product to a customer, you need to be selling your employability to potential employers, which is why your personal brand is so critical to your job search.
If you’re not creating or refining your personal brand throughout your job search and not getting offers. You’re probably sending the wrong messages without even knowing it.
Here are some mistakes you might be making when it comes to your personal brand, and how to adjust your strategy, to stand out and see better results.
1. Your social media profiles are less than appropriate
Social media might seem like a place to document good times with friends, and that is true. However, where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re participating in can all send messages to employers that you lack professionalism. For example, if you post photos with drugs or alcohol, whether you’re using them or not, employers can assume that you’re irresponsible. If your username is inappropriate, you’re engaging in arguments, or you’re posting content that refutes a qualification you’ve claimed, they will assume you’re untruthful, confrontational, and unfit for their company.
Tip: Surveys show that 70% of potential employers screen your online presence. A solid social media profile is truthful and reflects professionalism, communication skills, and creativity. The next time you think about posting a photo or a status update, ask yourself: what does this say about me?
2. Your social media engagement is unbecoming
We’ve established that your online profiles and the information on the need to be truthful and respectable, but people often forget about their social media engagement. The people you interact with and the posts you like and share are equally as influential as your profile itself. Popular social media sites like Instagram and Facebook have all made your engagement visible; posts you like or share can easily show up on others’ newsfeeds, allowing them to jump to conclusions about your character. Offensive, discriminatory, or insulting content regarding peers, or even past employers, that you may not have created, but engaged with, could rub employers the wrong way.
Tip: Avoid liking, sharing, or engaging in content that can push away potential employers. Anything hateful, provocative, or argumentative can reflect a lack of respectability. But, don’t be a ghost. Studies show that over half of employers are less likely to call candidates with no online engagement or internet presence whatsoever.
3. Your appearance lacks confidence
Whether you like it or not, your physical appearance plays a major role in the success of your job search, in your social media profiles, and in-person, too. The way you look can signal your level of confidence and trustworthiness or lack thereof. Discomfort in your physical appearance can prevent you from posting valuable, employable pictures online or engaging comfortably with other professionals in-person. For example, body image issues can make you avoid posting photos that let employers get to know the real you. Or, chronic health conditions like male pattern baldness or adult acne can impede your self-confidence during job interviews, restricting your ability to show off your best character traits.
Tip: Self-esteem has a major influence on your life experiences, especially when it comes to advancing your career. Talk to a doctor about ways to address and manage your insecurities, boost your self-esteem through self-love practices, and make a point to recognize your strengths every day to enhance your personal brand.
4. You haven’t built a network
Most of the time, searching available jobs online and sending in your application isn’t all it takes to land the job of your dreams. Sometimes, it takes a lot of hard work outside of simply applying, and networking is a huge part of that effort. Applying is only the first step. If you’re not researching the field, reaching out to others in the industry, and following up with those whom you’ve been in contact with, you could be missing out on huge career opportunities and lacking a critical part of what makes up your personal brand.
Tip: Whom you know, whom you learn from, and whom you keep in contact with can increase your chances of getting your foot in the door. A recent study shows that your chances of a successful job match can increase by 6% with an employee referral. So, build up a network of knowledgeable, qualified professionals to help you grow your personal brand.
Searching for a job is an exhaustive, daunting process, so you’ll need to get a leg-up anywhere you can. Consider these job search mistakes and start embodying your personal brand with pride for an easier, more successful job search. Leave us your thoughts on the comment sections below. Head over to Jobstore.com and unveil your next job opportunity.