In the 21st century business environment personal branded has emerged as a necessity to differentiate oneself and stand out in an increasingly competitive job market. Personal branding allows an individual to effectively communicate: their competencies, experience and vision of themselves. A personal brand is an asset that can help to improve to chances of obtaining a dream job, build industry recognition as a thought leader and attract better clients (Quick Sprout, 2017) among other things.
Getting started with your personal brand begins with making sure that your LinkedIn profile is update to date and clearly expresses your experience and skills. LinkedIn aims to “connect the world’s professionals and enable them to be productive and successful.”, relevant indeed – but how do we represent ourselves best to LinkedIn’s 347 million users and 3 million companies?
In “The Art of Digital Marketing” by Ian Dodson the integral facets of a successful LinkedIn profile should give people a “taste of who you are” and that all statements should be: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound to ensure that they give the best presentation of you in the more persuasive and believable way.
While my personal LinkedIn profile is still a work in process, I have made a start by:
1. Updating my cover photo.
Creating a unique cover photo is a simple way to stand out on LinkedIn as most people have not taken the time to utilise one. A cover photo provides more visual real estate to communicate about yourself and your skills. If you’re not design inclined there are many royalty free Linkedin covers available or hiring a designer to create a bespoke option may suit you more.
2. Updated my educational qualifications and what I am currently studying.
Ensuring that your qualifications are up to date is an essential step in ensuring that your LinkedIn profile accurately communicates your body of knowledge and core competencies to viewers. Don’t forget to include qualifications that you have achieved from continuing education, work experience or conferences.
3. Updated my prior education and awards I received.
Ensuring that your prior educational qualifications are up to date is not only important to display your skills but also provides an important opportunity to network with people who attended the same educational institutions that you did. Any awards that were received provide an opportunity to display unique skills or add more depth and personality to your profile.
4. Updated the skills that I am developing.
For most people, they will receive recommendations from past and present co-workers to verify their skills and what working with them was like. This is especially important as it is one of the first sections of your profile that recruiters will view (Dodson, 2016).
For me, I’ve not had the opportunity to utilise my skills but am look forward to an opportunity shortly through an internship.
6. List the Certifications I have achieved so far.
Listing professional certifications is a great to demonstrate lifelong learning which is essential in the rapidly changing digital economy. Many industry leaders such as Hubspot or Google offer qualifications or certifications that verify a standard of industry knowledge and are also a great refresher.
Dodson, I. (2016). The Art of Digital Marketing. 1st ed. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Quick Sprout. (2017). The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand. [online] Available at: https://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-building-your-personal-brand/ [Accessed 22 Jul. 2017].