Most, if not all of us have established what our career objectives are and the direction, we would like our careers to take. This then simply means building an optimised career brand is no longer a choice but mandatory. Because how else do you achieve those goals if you do not, in fact, look good on paper?
Some of you might be wondering what on earth is a career brand. I mean, you possibly think that just having a CV, for others that is not even professionally written puts you ahead of the curve. I am sorry to be the one that breaks this to you, but it doesn’t! It takes more than just a CV to convince a potential business partner that you’re worthy of a collaboration that can yield favourable results for all parties involved.
Optimised Career Brand
A career brand is who you are professionally. Just like how you build and constantly maintain your social media profiles, it is as important to optimise your career brand and ensure that it is updated. But before you start building your brand, you need to start with some self-reflection. Understand what you are really passionate about and decide what direction you would like your career to take. You are more than welcome to change careers, should you have built a brand already that adds no value to your happiness.
Here are some standard guidelines on how to optimise your career brand:
Compile a professional CV.
Remember this speaks for you when you cannot be physically there to represent yourself, therefore it goes without saying that at whatever point in your career, you cannot afford to have a mediocre CV. As a c-suite executive and professional, you understand that putting in the time and money is a long-term investment. Analyse your CV and ensure that it highlights all the necessary information that sets you apart from the competition.
Become an Expert Internet Networker.
One of the most important aspects of optimising your brand would be to build relationships with relevant people within the industry that can elevate your career. LinkedIn is one of the most useful tools for networking with people that have similar career goals. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is maintained and up to date. You would hate to miss an opportunity simply because your online presence does not represent you.
Build a Digital CV/Website.
Contrary to popular belief, these have become a thing now. Various job boards such as Indeed for example will now ask you not only for your LinkedIn URL but one for your personal website too. Take the time and construct one. There are several advantages to this, it will allow you to showcase projects you were not able to creatively demonstrate in your CV.
Optimised correctly, when someone tries to find you online, they will land on your webpage and find detailed information in relation to your competencies, achievements, and experience. But over and above everything else, when you are networking with your next potential employer, instead of trying to find your CV, you can share the web link and they will be able to learn more about you and get in touch should they need to.
Maximise your presence on social media.
Use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to drive a consistent message to your followers in relation to your career brand. Engage on relevant topics as much as possible, overtime you will notice that your personal and career brand will grow with every relationship you build with individuals within your industry. Learn how to leverage over your networks online, done right, you will get free valuable career advice including tips on how to in actual fact optimise your brand.
Building a strong brand does not happen overnight, it requires a lot of planning, takes time and in some instances money. You might not see results right in the very beginning, but you will enjoy the ROI when your career starts receiving momentum.