When I speak to the headhunting firms who hire Chief Executives I always hear that they’re looking for candidates who are seen as an authority and leader in their industry, not just from their CV and track record, but from their online personal brand. Not all of us want to become Chief Executives but much of what is the norm at this level trickles down to become day to day hiring practice.
So why has your online personal brand become so important that it even eclipses your CV when you are looking for a job or to be promoted internally?
- - On average people are moving jobs a lot more frequently than they used to, with Generation Y predicted to have worked in 4 jobs by the age of 32. If you move jobs fairly often then how you brand and market yourself online becomes more important as it is how potential employers will view you, as well as hiring managers in other parts of your organisation if you are looking to be promoted. -Much of the research suggests that your online presence is likely to replace your CV within 10 years. With the advent of predictive software, which employers will use to search for candidates who meet their hiring requirements by assessing their online profiles, you will be targeted for future jobs based on what is available to view.
- - Your online presence is fast becoming like a business card so, even if you’re not looking for a new job, in every work relationship your online brand is how you will be viewed by suppliers, partners, competitors and colleagues. So, if it is the case that your online brand is really important how could you curate it to present yourself in the most effective way? Instead of letting other people’s posts and tags become your online identity why not start planning how you want portray yourself?
- - Social media and networking is often how you will be found online by a new employer or business contact. By tailoring what information is available you can turn social media into a positive. That means having a professional LinkedIn profile which acts as a business card for you, including a summary about yourself, what you are responsible for and have achieved in your job roles. Conduct regular online “audits” on yourself, taking care with privacy settings on social media, removing other people’s tags which may portray you in a poor light and deleting less professional content which you posted when you were at college or school.
- - Establish yourself as an authority online by starting a blog, moderating a forum or being active in a LinkedIn industry group. Video is a really important medium now, so if you can post vlogs, live video or do regular podcasts then they will all boost your profile.
- - Get out of the office to industry events, conferences or supplier presentations, either as a delegate or, if you have been responsible for a project or a key product launch, then ask for the opportunity to speak about it as this will give you online leverage with positive stories and material about you.
- - And finally, a third of people don't get offered jobs because of what they post online. When I train people on personal branding many of them find surprise postings or tags and aren’t happy when they search themselves, so make sure that isn’t you.