Personal Branding in the Age of Digital Media: How to Stand Out and Build Your Reputation Online

The days of a potential employer reading your resume and hiring you after a simple interview are long gone. In today’s increasingly digital world, finding and grabbing hold of career opportunities requires personal branding. This is how today’s professionals attract and keep the right sort of attention.

What Is Personal Branding? 

This phrase often appears in conversations about internet content creators and influencers. They craft a cohesive brand around themselves that focuses on personality and their unique niche. However, people seeking more traditional employment or career opportunities also need to present themselves well.

A personal brand defines and demonstrates who you are as a professional person. It is both an accumulation of education, skills, and experience and a symbol of your attitude, personality, and soft skills. It both helps you streamline your knowledge of self and shows potential employers what you have to offer. The process of creating and nurturing your brand requires strategic planning, long-term effort, and coordination focused on the end goal. This includes better jobs, advancement in a current position, increase networking in an industry or niche, or simply improved career satisfaction over time.

The Need for Personal Branding in Today’s Digital World 

In the past three years, the percentage of people working from home rose from 5.7% to 17.9% and continues on the upward trajectory. This combines telecommuters employed full-time by organizations as well as freelancers, contractors, and gig workers. This reliance on the internet fuels the need for more precise and omnipresent personal branding and self-promotion.

Websites or social media pages are the new business cards. They are integral parts of application packages or contract work proposals. Your presence must convey your individual value proposition at a glance and provide enough information to back it up.

Not all benefits focus on the employer. When you define and develop your career-focused brand successfully, you have a much higher chance of landing jobs that align with your unique goals. Employers or business contacts who know you from the start will align better with everything from your special skills to your desired workplace culture. This leads to much higher job satisfaction and a lower chance of job-hopping to find a suitable position.

Tips for Effective Personal Branding Online 

How do you create your own personal brand to increase career opportunities and overall success? While the concept shares much with the idea of creating a company brand, there are distinct differences. This is not about a well-designed, colorful logo or slick advertisements. Instead, it is about creating a cohesive, accurate, and impressive impression of who you are and what you have to offer.

Below I have listed six tips for you to consider:

  1. Define goals and intentions for your online brand. How do you want people to see you and what do you want them to take away from any interaction with your online presence? The answers to these questions should align with well-researched expectations of industry employers.
  2. Audit your current internet presence. Of course, not everything you do online will focus on career goals. You undoubtedly watch fun videos, play some games, chat with friends, and post about non-work stuff, too. First, clean things up. Make sure there is nothing that could cast a negative light on your abilities or personality. Next, create a separate professional platform.
  3. Decide what will help and what you can keep up with. People with busy careers do not have to launch an industry blog or become a professional podcaster. An active LinkedIn profile and interaction in specific communities that align with your career trajectory can help.
  4. Keep your brand consistent. You never know where someone will look for information about who you are. Therefore, maintain the same look and feel across social media channels and other places you show up online.
  5. Avoid over-hyping yourself. Employment opportunities do not improve for people who come across like flea market vendors hawking the latest and greatest product. Personal branding is not about advertising a bullet list of your skills or abilities. It is about demonstrating your value in a way that shows organizations how they can benefit from it.
  6. Keep it updated. While your career focus and long-term goals may not stray from a well-planned course, learning agility and improvement are essential to success. Potential employers searching for your name online should find more than stale, out-of-date posts. At the very least, this shows dedication and commitment.

How Brand Affects Employability and Long-term Career Success 

The ability to “identify and realize career opportunities” defines employability, but this simple phrase barely scrapes the surface of what it truly means for professionals in today’s competitive world. A potential employer is not the only person who needs to view the applicant as worthy of a position in their company. You have to see yourself that way, too. This is what personal branding showcases: ability, experience, marketability, and confidence.

The impact of personal branding starts at the first contact between you and a potential employer or business contact. They will google you. You undoubtedly searched the internet for details about them before you even applied or scheduled a meeting. A well-designed digital brand creates the all-important first impression, but its impact goes far beyond the surface.

How you present yourself online will reflect on their organization if they hire you. Exploring your personal brand is a study in risk assessment just as much as it is about getting to know what you offer in job-specific skills. With contract work and job-hopping more common than ever before, an employer needs to know you are the best fit possible for their company goals and culture.

In today’s increasingly digital employment world, personal branding has pushed traditional job-seeker behaviors out of the spotlight. With help from professional career and personal development coaching at VIP Innovations, you can reach your goals. Careful and intentional design and implementation of a cohesive, impactful personal brand will support your efforts to find new and better jobs, expand contract work opportunities, and position yourself on the path to success and fulfillment.

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