Mind Your Online Reputation: The Personal Branding Social Proof Paradigm
Check out the first two parts in this series:
Here is an undeniable truth too many job seekers dismiss or don’t understand:
With the advent of the digital age, job search has become a whole new ball game, requiring personal branding and online presence for social proof . . . and a lot more preparation, planning, and hard work.
A good-looking, well-written resume used to be king and, along with a strong network, just about all an executive needed to land a job.
A great resume alone doesn’t cut it any more. Besides, resume, biographies and other documents don’t look, read, or work the way they used to either.
Social recruiting is now the norm. According to Jobvite’s Recruiter Nation survey, in 2015 only 4% of recruiters DID NOT use social media to source and assess candidates.
Although LinkedIn is now, by far, the most important place for job seekers to be online, Jobvite’s 2016 Recruiter Nation survey found one crucial mismatch – job seekers are on Facebook, while recruiters are on LinkedIn.
According to the survey:
87% of recruiters use LinkedIn …
but only 55% use Facebook
If it’s been, say, 5 or more years since you’ve been job-hunting, you may think things will happen the way they did the last time you changed jobs.
You dusted off your resume, looked for job openings, and reached out to recruiters. Or you were lucky enough to have a streaming pipeline of opportunities coming in from recruiters throughout your career. Or a job just fell into your lap through some connection.
These things can and do still happen, but these days don’t expect to slide into a new gig so easily . . . especially if you’re neglecting personal branding, LinkedIn and your online presence.
And yet, all too often I hear executive job seekers say self-sabotaging things like:
- “Personal branding is not for me. I’m not a brand, I’m a person. And I don’t like to brag about myself”.
- “I don’t want to ‘put myself out there’ online”.
- “I don’t have time for LinkedIn or any other social networking”.
You may resist, but 3 cold hard realities impact today’s job search and the ability to land faster:
1. Personal Branding Is No Longer Optional
How will you know how to position and present yourself?
How will you know what kind of content to write about yourself?
You’ll end up with generic content in your resume, biography, LinkedIn profile, etc., trying to cover too many bases. Your content probably won’t resonate with anyone.
In Part 1 of this Personal Branding Manifesto, I outlined what branding is and is NOT, and how it helps you stand out in executive job search.
In Part 2, I explained how to build a memorable personal brand.
2. Having an Online Presence Is No Longer Optional
Executive recruiters and hiring decision makers have new, Internet-driven strategies to source and assess candidates.
Most turn to LinkedIn first, and then other online platforms, to find and assess candidates based on what exists about them online.
Ignoring LinkedIn, in particular, for reputation management and personal brand-building can be career suicide.
Job seekers who have a diverse, compelling online footprint are more attractive to recruiters and employers than those who have little or no presence online.
Those who are not visible and at least somewhat active online, may never be found by the very people they need to be smack dab in front of.
If Googling “their name” yields little to no search results, they’ll likely be passed over for someone who has a vibrant, diverse online footprint.
The more web pages associated with their name, the stronger their candidacy, and the stronger the likelihood they will be a person of interest.
When writing content to build online presence, you must always be mindful of your personal SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This involves identifying and including in brand-reinforcing content the relevant keywords and phrases that will help you be found by recruiters and hiring decision makers.
How do you uncover these critical personal SEO keywords and phrases? By carefully researching each company and industry you’re targeting.
3. Social Proof Can Tip the Scales in The Job Seeker’s Favor
Recruiters and hiring professionals Google job seekers’ names before reaching out to them. They’re looking for social proof to validate the claims they’ve made in their resume and other career documents, and to corroborate their personal brand.
They want to verify that candidates are who they say they are, and to learn more about them.
When people post information about themselves online, they’re less likely to stretch the truth. We all hesitate posting anything online, for all the world to scrutinize, that isn’t accurate and can be outed by colleagues, employers or others who know better.
Discrepancies between the documents job seekers provide employers and what they find about them online can red-flag their candidacy.
Social proof helps reinforce your good-fit qualities and positions you as an up-to-date social media-savvy candidate, who knows how to operate in the digital age.
Coming up in Part 4, Two Little-Known Ways to Master The Personal Branding Social Proof Paradigm.
Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Help
Need help with personal branding, your LinkedIn profile, resume and biography, and getting your executive job search on track . . . to land a great-fit new gig?