So much time is spenttailoring our Facebook and Instagram accounts with the perfect descriptions, favorite quotes, and best filters for our pictures. Yet we rarely put as much emphasis on tailoring our personal brands for employment.Which picture to post on Facebook is seldom thought of twice, but when it comes to representing ourselves in the professional field, most candidates are lost. There are some common mistakes made by candidates when creating or sustaining their personal brand.
Not relaying contact information-You attend a career fair, or meet an important contact in a café, but you gave no way for them to get in touch with you. Those that do not carry around business cards or who leave contact information offtheir CVs or LinkedIn profiles, are asking for a missed opportunity. Do not make it harder for someone to reach out to you, or else they just will not. If it is too much work to hunt you down, they will not contact you.
Thinking it’s a sales pitch- While having a quick profile of who you are and what you want to do at the ready is good, a scripted speech can be pointed out easily. Authenticity is key here and any relationship formed from speaking with someone about your career should be natural and mutually beneficial. That mutually beneficial relationship will be hard to prove in the long run if you are not forthcoming with your true self.
Having a poor LinkedIn profile- In 2016, there is no longer an excuse for having a poor LinkedIn profile, much less no profile at all. This format was created specifically to endorse your personal brand and for others to get in touch with you for that personal brand. This is where you can tailor exactly what needs to be highlighted or perhaps left off. Spend a few hours mastering your profile and be sure to update often with any new achievements or job changes.
Not following up- If you have gone through the trouble of meeting someone you would like to keep in contact with, you would be remiss to not follow up. A simple handwritten note goes a long way these days and stands out from the hundreds of anonymous messages on LinkedIn. Do a little digging to find their workplace address, or at the least, send an e-mail. It says a great deal about to the kind of person you are, and leaves a very good impression on others as to your personal brand.
Taking it too seriously- The point of developing your personal brand is to benefit you, and possibly others. With that being said, not everyone will take a liking to your brand and not everyone is worth spending the time on getting them to like your personal brand. Your brand should be professional, of course, but taking it too seriously will just bring stress and unnecessary hair pulling. Add your true personality to your brand and be okay with the fact that not everyone will appreciate it. Pleasing everyone is impossible so you should at least be happy with the person you are presenting to others. Ashley Herbert
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