For years, “branding” has been a concept mostly relegated to companies.
Apple’s brand, with its “Think Different” tagline, and unique approach to design, transformed the tech industry and built a community of adoring fans for the business.
However, you don’t need to be a corporation to have a brand. In a world of social media and growing digital presence, almost everyone has their own personal brand – even if they don’t know it.
Although most of today’s tech specialists won’t have consciously cultivated their brand up until now, there’s a good chance that your reputation is already affecting your life. Today’s technology recruiters and hiring managers don’t just look at your CV to check your suitability for a job anymore. They’ll track you down online too, evaluating your social presence and your history with previous employers.
So, how do you make sure that your personal brand is saying the right things about you?
Step 1: Find Out Who You Are
According to the Founder of Digital Press, Nicolas Cole, if you don’t have a personal brand by 2020, people won’t work with you.
Countless companies start their search for new talent online, particularly in the technology space. Employers expect their Salesforce consultants, and Marketing Automation managers to be active online. To start figuring out who you are, and who you want to be, audit your online reputation to learn what employers and recruiters will see when they search for your name on Google.
- Are there any mentions of you on job sites and forums that might affect your chances of a great job in the future? For instance, a message on a Salesforce Trailhead forum noting how difficult you are to work with won’t help your personal brand.
- What do your social media accounts say about you? If you have any personal, and therefore, unprofessional Facebook or Instagram accounts, make them private to protect your reputation.
- Is there anything to classify you as a thought leader? If you’re going to present yourself as a data analyst or an outstanding Microsoft Business Intelligence Consultant, have you published any blogs, articles, or videos in the past that will support your claim?
Step 2: Decide Who You Want to Be
Your personal brand isn’t just a reflection of who you are right now.
Used correctly, your brand can also be a roadmap highlighting where you’re headed, and what you may be capable of in the years to come. For instance, if you want to become a Big Data Insights engineer, it pays to show that you’re taking data insights classes on your social media pages. You can even start following influential people in your space.
- Which traits and skills distinguish me? Start by focusing on your technical talents, like data knowledge or insights in AI, then consider your soft skills too, like communication or presentation abilities.
- What kind of roles do I want to pursue in the future? Knowing what type of positions you want to attract will help you to decide where you need to build on your personal brand. For instance, if you‘re going to be a Salesforce leader, you’ll need to start networking with other Salesforce specialists.
- Who is my audience? Who do you want to reach with your personal brand? Are you trying to connect with recruiters like ROD, or attract the attention of a specific company? In these cases, it makes sense to join industry-specific forums, and upgrade your LinkedIn profile. Around 87% of recruiters are using LinkedIn to find quality candidates today.
Step 3: Build your Elevator Pitch
Knowing who you are today, and who you want to be will give you the basic foundations you need for your brand. With this information, you can start to design an elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a quick story about who you are, intended to sell your skills and background to other people in the tech sector. A brief elevator pitch covers what you’ve accomplished in the past, and what you’re aiming to achieve in the future. This gives recruiters and hiring managers an insight into your potential.
For instance, if you want to be a specialist salesforce consultant, you might talk about your history with Salesforce, and how you’ve helped to implement it in other companies as part of an IT team. Maybe you’ve visited various Trailhead sessions you can talk about, or you’ve achieved various Salesforce certifications, and you’re looking for an opportunity to put your skills to the test.
Keep your elevator pitch brief and genuine.
Focus on the critical points of your personality and talent that you want people to remember.
Step 4: Use Content to Increase your Credibility
Your elevator pitch will tell people who you are, and who you want to be.
However, you’ll still need to prove yourself to the people you want to connect and work with. In today’s digital age, that usually means creating an effective online presence.
Content is one of the easiest ways to make your personal brand stand out today. Depending on your skills, you might:
- Build a portfolio showcasing some of the work that you did for previous employers. You might even include reviews from clients if you’re a contractor or consultant.
- Write articles about your experiences in the industry and post them on a personal blog or LinkedIn. Even a brief blog post is a great way to demonstrate that you know the tech sector. If your writing is well-done, it will also convince employers that you have good written communication skills.
- Share videos and podcasts: If writing isn’t your strong point, talk about your experiences in your technology field on video or a podcast instead. For example, give people a behind-the-scenes look at your journey as a Salesforce Solution Architect, and what it’s like to be part of the Salesforce ecosystem.
Step 5: Embrace Networking
Finally, to really make your brand stand out, you need to connect with people.
Social media channels like LinkedIn make this simple. You can connect with specific groups in your sector, follow people that you admire, and even ask to build relationships with businesses you’re interested in.
As you develop your relationships on LinkedIn, you can also request endorsements from the people that work with you. These simple reviews will add more credibility to your personal brand.
Remember, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. However, it’s not enough just to be active online. You’ll need to make sure you have a presence offline too. Attend local events related to the tech field you’re interested in. Maybe there’s a nearby conference on machine learning you can visit or a discussion on data analytics.
Attending these in-person experiences will give you a unique opportunity to meet people and prove to them that you’re willing to go above and beyond to expand your horizons.
About Resource on Demand
Resource on Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company, now also focusing on growth Cloud markets.
We assist innovative and disruptive organisations to grow their technology teams, supporting companies to fill Cloud roles that span across Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Human Capital Management and the growing Salesforce.com suite of skills.
The team at Resource on Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 Cloud professionals each year.
To find out how we can support you call us on 01322 272 53