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November 30, 2022 - 5

The Job Hunter’s Guide to Personal Branding

How can you stand out from the crowd? The secret is personal branding. 

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What Is Personal Branding for Job Hunting?

Unlike the Backstreet Boys, tech recruiters DO care who you are (your values), where you’re from (your achievements), and what you do (your aspirations). Develop your personal brand to show them that you’re both meant to be.

What’s a personal brand, you ask? Essentially, it’s the traits and narratives that define someone in the public eye. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a recent grad, you can use a personal brand professionally to give recruiters an idea of who you are in an accessible manner. It allows you to showcase your value and expertise, establish your industry authority, and convey your genuine interests. 

Your personal brand highlights the skills you bring to the table, the professional goals you’ve accomplished, the schooling you’ve undergone, and even the personal traits you bring to the team. Since a personal brand allows you to authentically tell your story, it is key to accessing opportunities you want and building a career you love.

So, what should you focus on when building a personal brand? 

  • Keeping your core values at the heart of your brand

  • Considering your digital footprint (professional and personal)

  • Utilizing traditional branding tactics and modern day tools

With these in mind, you can make personal branding do the heavy lifting in your job hunt — rather than needing to seek out positions, recruiters will start to come to you. Basically, a well-curated and well-developed digital footprint makes you a desirable candidate to recruiters and managers.

How to Start Building Your Brand

Like any relationship, to start off, you have to build a foundation first. Set your direction by reflecting on your motivations, goals, strengths, and achievements in your professional life.

You can consider some guiding questions to start you off: 

  • What are your professional goals and values? 

  • Who do you want to achieve? 

  • What strengths do you bring to the table?

Now that you’ve thought about who you are, you’re ready to think about how you want to show it. Your objectives are the crux of your personal brand — everything else is just the presentation. You can use social media and e-portfolio websites to convey your personal brand to HR specialists and other tech professionals. When you make the effort to establish your professional digital profile, you not only distinguish yourself in the positions you apply for, but also attract new opportunities that you didn’t even seek out.

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re looking to make a good first impression online, ensure your LinkedIn profile showcases your strengths. LinkedIn is not only a social media site, it’s a search engine as well. If you search engine optimize your LinkedIn profile using keywords from your desired roles, you can make it easier for recruiters to find you. Start by completing all sections of your profile, including your location. Make sure to include keywords in your headline, job title, summary, and job descriptions. If you have industry specific expertise or tools that are mentioned in the LinkedIn postings of your desired role, include them!

And if you want to leave a lasting impression, make sure your profile picture, heading, and summary depict your personal brand. Use a clear headshot – and use the same profile pictures on every professional site. Update your heading to reflect your targeted positions using keywords. Use your LinkedIn Summary to tell your story and inject your personality into your profile. You can talk about your motivations, experiences, and passions, showing off your worth with data to back it up. Include relevant keywords in your summary as well and last but not least, end with a call to action to encourage readers to connect with you.

If you’d like to build your network, promote your work online and make connections. Link your website or portfolio and make posts about personal projects, request online endorsements from coworkers and customers to validate the skills you’ve highlighted, and engage with new professionals. 

Throughout your profile, make sure you’re showcasing your personal brand. Think about those guiding questions and incorporate your answers into your profile. 

Engage with others online

If you’re looking to network with professionals in your field, connect with them using social media. By staying active on LinkedIn and other professional social media platforms, you make it easier for other like-minded individuals to find you.

Create Your Online Portfolio

If you’re looking for a place to display your projects, build an online portfolio. By anchoring all your online professional activity to your portfolio or website, you can make sure recruiters have a easy way to find all your work. This is especially true if you use a recognizable domain name and the same profile picture across the web. You can also take this time to audit your online image to make sure everything found on the web depicts accurate, comprehensive, and consistent info.

How to Improve Your Personal Profile

Now that you’ve gotten your foot in the door, you can use your industry experience to get noticed. You have the skills, but now you’ve got to show it. When you join professional groups, you can make connections based on your interests and build relationships with other professionals in your field. By producing online content, you can show managers that you have both the knowledge and expertise to improve their team.

Join Professional Groups

If you’re looking to create professional relationships based on your interests and passions, join a career network or alumni association. You can grab even more opportunities by reaching out to former coworkers or volunteering in your industry. 

Not sure where to start? Ironhack is on Meetup! Check us out! You can use Meetup, TechMeetups, or Gary'sGuide to find events in your area. Or you can search for company posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Write Blogs

If you’re looking to showcase your industry knowledge, write your own articles with LinkedIn Publishing, Medium, or other tech websites. Not sure where to look? Ironhack is searching for tech experts to write guest blogs.

Join Podcasts

If you’re looking to prove your expertise, be a guest on a podcast or make your own.
Not sure where to look? PitchPodcasts has a list of technology podcasts looking for guests. Browse the site to find one in your niche or just search Google using the keywords {guest, podcast, tech}. There are so many options out there! Even if appearing on a podcast isn’t your thing, you can still use them as a resource to learn more about your industry.

Take Your Career to the Next Level

So, you’ve shown the online world what you can do, but what’s next? Become even better, of course! You can use learning experiences and career services to boost your career in tech. Looking to learn new skills? Attend a workshop for leadership training, read a book, listen to a podcast about a new technical concept, or maybe enroll in a tech bootcamp. Check out all our opportunities at Ironhack!

Want to build your career? Ask for feedback from other tech professionals… or enroll in a bootcamp that offers employment assistance like Ironhack’s career services.

Remember you are more than your digital identity. What you do offline is just as important as what you display online; develop your online branding to kickstart your career.

If you’re looking to make your offline persona as good as your online one, learn with Ironhack. Plus, all our bootcamps come with career services to help you land that new job. What are you waiting for?!

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