Personal branding – Cutting through the clutter

Author: Jane Telford, Career Management Specialist at Right Management

A sleek, tailored resume aligning our ‘personal brand’ qualities with our future aspirations; a list of well researched companies to target; a bunch of network contacts willing to connect us with decision makers within; relationships with two or three key recruiters specialising in our field; a LinkedIn profile promoting our brand to the world…as a job seeker, we’re doing all we can to land our ideal role right?

Would it surprise you to know that job applications are frequently scanned for key word match against the advertised criteria before a human eye even sees them? And those that make it through will garner less than six seconds viewing as the pile is reduced to the few worth closer scrutiny? And that 95per cent of recruiters and employers will then turn to Google to research the owners of these applications?

What’s more, given the onerous task of wading through a possible 300+ job ad responses, recruiters, head hunters and employers are increasingly turning to LinkedIn to cherry pick from the rich talent pool of potential job fits within. And should we surface during their key word search; our profiles will receive less than 36 seconds viewing time. Why? Well only 65 per cent of our LinkedIn profile is actually about us. Ads, other visuals and other people’s profiles will distract their attention and potentially lead them away from our information.

So how are we to cut through the scanning, speed-read and clutter and stand out from the masses?

Today’s employers are seeking as much information as they can to ensure a ‘perfect fit’. They are looking to assess elements such as professional qualifications, history, skills sets, subject-matter expertise, thought leadership, achievements, connections, personality, creativity and cultural fit. So much more than can be conveyed in resumes and profiles and if we are to succeed in a competitive marketplace we need to innovate from such traditional approaches.

This is where the personal web page is crucial.

The best sales people know how important it is to make personal connections with their clients. Whether through a shared hobby, an experience or a life philosophy; making a connection with our audience reminds them that we’re a real person – difficult to do through a resume, easy through a visually stimulating website.

For years, prominent authors, musicians, politicians and other personalities have used websites to raise their profile and provide a place to showcase their careers. What these people know is that having a website is a powerful tool for both building a personal brand and connecting with their audience.

Unlike social media sites, a personal website is 100 per cent about you and; given that people remember 10 per cent of what they hear, 20 per cent of what they read and 80 per cent of what they see and statistically spend up to three minutes viewing visually stimulating websites, what exactly are we waiting for?

Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why we should consider creating a personal website:

  1. A website impresses recruiters and employers

According to research by Workfolio, 56 per cent of hiring managers and recruiters are more impressed with a personal website than any other tool yet fewer than 5per cent of us currently have one.

  1. A website lets our personality shine

Aside from the ‘prestige factor’, a website allows us to convey our brand using a combination of creativity, design and content. Here we can talk about interests and experiences and provide links to other media channels, giving our visitors multiple chances to make that all important connection.

  1. A website helps us protect our online reputation

Few of us have truly unique names and when people search for us, links to other people who share our name also show up. A dedicated website, on a domain we own, can help others identify and distinguish us from the masses.

  1. A website helps demonstrate our thought leadership

Personal websites can also serve to demonstrate our thought leadership and subject matter expertise.  Q&As, links to published articles we’ve authored, presentations we’ve given, our twitter feed. Incorporating a blog can further reinforce our expertise too.

  1. A website communicates globally 24/7

We live in a global economy, yet many countries in Asia and the Middle East block social media sites. A website hosted on its own domain can be visited by anyone across the globe at any time.

But perhaps the most powerful reason to have a personal website is the message it sends to employers and prospective clients. It shows you care enough about your career to invest time and money in it. Still need convincing?

Right Management has developed an industry-exclusive partnership with ‘Workfolio’, a web application that helps anyone create a distinctive personal website. Awarded ‘Best Website for your Career’ by Forbes, Workfolio provides Right Management candidates with an opportunity to create their own websites and stand out from the competition. 

Examples -

www.charles.workfolio.com

www.sharonwsalling.com

 www.jane-telford.com

 

Right Management logo 2011

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