What is one way a “personal brand” is relevant when applying and interviewing for a job role?
To help you make the best of your online presence, we asked C-suite executives and other career experts this question for why they think branding is critical. From showing off your core values to proving your initiative, there are several reasons below why you should take building a strong personal brand seriously when entering the job market.
Here are 11 reasons your personal brand is essential to becoming an attractive candidate for any role:
- Shows Employers Your Core Values
- Aligns Your Interview Answers With Your Online Persona
- Gives Potential Employers Insight
- Battles the Recruiters’ Paradox of Choice
- Creates Your Real First Impression
- Makes You Strategically Attractive For Higher Positions
- Proves to Be the Best Candidate Differentiator
- Lets Your Personality Shine Through
- Helps Make Common Connections With the Interviewer
- Attracts the Right Opportunities
- Demonstrates You Have Initiative
Shows Employers Your Core Values
Businesses are not only looking for skills but the core values of a candidate, and this is one reason having a personal brand can play an important role in applying for and interviewing for a job.
Just as businesses use marketing to convey their brand’s values to their customers, personal brands work much the same way.
By using your LinkedIn and other professional accounts to tell your story, demonstrate your values, display your growth, and talk about your skills and passions, you will showcase who you are in a manner that is not common to most job-search formats.
In using your professional social media accounts to highlight personal attributes and core values, you will effectively market your personal brand and better your chances in the application and interview process.
Aligns Your Interview Answers With Your Online Persona
Interviewers are savvy and often check online profiles on various social media platforms. They’ll look at your posts, opinions, pictures, and other content that you’ve shared. All of this contributes to your personal brand.
Many people will tell you to take an inventory of your online persona and edit out those things that can harm your job prospects. But what many people ignore is the lack of alignment that can arise when your social media content doesn’t match the answers you give in an interview.
The best way to solve this is by being honest. You don’t have to share everything in an interview. But, you also shouldn’t pretend to be someone you’re not. An interviewer will see straight through it if they’ve spent a little time studying your personal brand online.
Instead, focus on how the different dimensions of your personality—and brand can be seen as a positive for the company. Then, when those aspects show through in your online posts, they’ll feel aligned with your interview answers.
Gives Potential Employers Insight
An online personal brand affects the preconceived notions the interviewer may have of your skill set.
For example, if you position yourself as an expert on LinkedIn, the preconceived beliefs about your professional value will be in your favor. Your personal brand relieves some of the heavy lifting in the interview; with readily available anecdotes online, it makes it easier for potential employers to get an idea of your values.
Battles the Recruiters’ Paradox of Choice
A personal brand makes you go from a number or name in the sea of applications to a person—as odd as it sounds—it humanizes you.
The dark reality of today’s society and recruitment processes is that there are so many options to choose from that it all becomes a digit that often obscures the individuals’ complexity and the qualities they offer.
Having a personal brand pushes you above the pile and makes you a recognizable and desired player. The paradox of choice is a real thing, and it concerns recruiters as well. A personal brand boosts your image and lets you control to a much greater extent how you are perceived when applying for jobs, making you a bold, unique, and high-value contender. Thanks to this, you will surpass the recruitment challenge of the paradox of choice.
Creates Your Real First Impression
I’m a BIG believer in personal branding and have worked very hard to build mine on both LinkedIn & our company page.
When someone applies for jobs the FIRST thing recruiters/employers do is check the resume against their LinkedIn account for consistency & to get acquainted in a non-committal “safe space.” That’s your first impression and you can control the narrative.
It can either be an asset or a liability depending on several factors like a professional headshot, consistency with resume, and personal branding like recommendations/published work. This is how I differentiate myself.
I ask for branding content from my candidates via success story feedback for our website and recommendations for my LinkedIn. These endorsements can be the difference between whether top talent works with me versus the many other recruiters that approach them.
The best part is this branding is FREE! Does your LinkedIn make a 10/10 impression? If not, it’s like using your worst photo on a dating app, very limiting.
Makes You Strategically Attractive For Higher Positions
Personal branding applies only to strategic positions, not every job. These positions require credible candidates who take responsibility for their actions and decisions—and care about their reputation as experts in the field.
Companies don’t want anyone with an unprofessional image representing their brand. They want people who are passionate about what they do and can communicate that passion to all the employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
In fact, sometimes personal branding helps candidates appointed to a significant position in the company without having to go through the typical recruitment process of interviews, tests, and assessment rounds.
It gives an advantage over those candidates who don’t have a strong personal brand and makes themselves more visible to recruiters.
Proves to Be the Best Candidate Differentiator
Establishing a personal brand, or the image and characteristics thought of when you are considered professionally for a new role, can be the calling card that helps you to stand out from the rest regarding an interview process or candidate selection process.
Being known in your industry or amongst peers as a subject matter expert relative to a certain function or skill set, coupled with a personal brand that embodies work ethic, connections, and a measurable ROI to a company associated with your work, will help you stand out more than the candidate that just has a “good resume.”
Establishing a professional brand can start with a LinkedIn profile, but what makes it tangible and real is support from those in your network through recommendations and endorsements. A presence at industry events as a speaker, panelist, or expo presenter will also bolster your brand.
Lets Your Personality Shine Through
A major part of the interview process revolves around striking a good rapport with your interviewer. Having a solid personal brand can be a great way to achieve this because it lets your personality take the spotlight.
Your resume, for instance, only talks about your achievements and experience—it does little to paint a clear picture of your personality. A personal brand, on the other hand, lets you express yourself a lot more and interviewers can actually connect with who you are and fill in the missing gaps.
Helps Make Common Connections With the Interviewer
Experience and skills are important in leaving a great impression on the interviewer, but communication also plays an essential role in setting you apart from your competitors.
Engaging in small talk not only leaves a lasting impression, but also establishes a connection between the job seeker and the interviewer. Thus, it helps to showcase your personal brand as well.
Before appearing for an interview, try going through the background of the interviewer to find the most common topic of interest. Some topics may help in promoting your personal brand. For example, passion, hobbies, and professional interests. Keep in mind, you might offend the interviewer by discussing political or religious topics.
Attracts the Right Opportunities
One of the biggest advantages of having a personal brand is that it allows you to evaluate what is truly important in your professional life.
When you can do this and present it confidently amongst your peers, your network, and potential employers, you’re more likely to land opportunities that align with your long-term goals and true interests.
This benefits both yourself and your employer as it serves to move you both in the right direction.
Demonstrates You Have Initiative
You want recruiters and hiring managers to take comfort in knowing that you’re able to take the initiative. If you can successfully promote yourself with just a social media platform (or two) and some well-honed instincts, just think how well you can promote an established brand.
If you’re interviewing for a marketing role at a company, it will serve you well to show the hiring managers you know how to sell a brand, that includes your personal brand.
You may even come with a robust, built-in following, which is something that is sure to appeal to any company looking for more exposure.