Several years ago, I participated in an MBA program and it struck me that I needed to build a professional brand. Most of us today have online profiles and many personal accounts but spend little effort other than perhaps LinkedIn to build our professional brand. Our brand helps to drive how others evaluate our skills and it plays a large factor in determining how we will secure our future opportunities. It has taken me several years to build my professional brand and I would like to share that experience with others. I will be publishing a series of articles and videos which cover this topic in detail.
- Step 1: Build An Exceptional Resume-Perhaps your best opportunity for success in future job opportunities will be to have an exceptional resume. As a hiring manager for 20+ years, I can tell you that having a great resume will get you in the door for an interview. I have seen so many resumes over the years and as a matter of practice here is the #1 criteria i use: if the resume has typos, I throw it in the trash. Why? Because the person did not spend enough time and effort in building the resume, so they will likely make mistakes and not be a great employee due to the lack of attention to detail.
- Step 2: Build a LinkedIn Profile-LinkedIn is the #1 professional social network. There are so many people on LinkedIn, you really need to be able to stand out from the crowd. The best way to do that is to have an outstanding summary page and strong credentials to back that us. You should have a professional looking picture, provide factual information on your profile, and keep the information updated on a regular basis.
- Step 3: Have a Strong Educational Background-It is extremely important to have a great education to combine with your experience. I have found some great candidates, but when they did not have the necessary education I was unable to hire them because a degree was a requirement for the position. If you don’t have a degree you will miss out on job opportunities. I strongly encourage you to pursue your education and take that seriously. I have a Bachelors and Two Master degrees and I believe it has helped me to get in the door for multiple interviews. It will help you to separate from your peers with a strong background.
- Step 4: Get Technical Certifications-Certifications require additional time and effort and it shows employers you take your career seriously. It also will help you to learn additional information which will help you later on. Last year I went and got two additional certifications, and it helped my land my current position, because it was preferred within the job description.
- Step 5: Build Your Social Network-This is perhaps the one where most people fall short. There are multiple social networks out there will help establish credibility and build your professional brand. Networking is no longer optional, it is a requirement. You should have the following social profiles:
- Twitter account
- Facebook page
- YouTube channel
- Professional blog
These 5 steps will greatly help to build your professional brand. I will be developing each of these in further detail and sharing that information soon.