You’re not like everyone else.That’s a fact. You have your own unique skillset, and that’s what can give you a leg up over other people in your industry. The key word here is “can”.Whether or not people recognise your talents and contributions depends largely on your personal brand -the collection of traits that first spring to mind when others think about you. So how do you make sure your brand is strong enough to stand out in today’s competitive job market? There are some basic personal attributes that never go out of style: consistency, punctuality, communicating in a well-mannered fashion -and, when it comes to body language, direct eye contact and a firm handshake are key. These go-to guidelines have been around for ages because they work. These days, though, they aren’t the only tools in the shed. With the internet and social media becoming more ingrained in people’s everyday lives, it is important to keep a few tips in mind:
KNOW YOUR NETWORK
Networking is an old standby and, like your favourite pair of jeans, it never goes out of style. Why? Simply put, nothing beats the personal element. Keeping a good working relationship with the people around you -even if they aren’t going to be your next best friend -keeps professional avenues open, because 40 per cent of companies hire staff from employee referrals.
This isn’t limited to the people you already know. With a wealth of information online, it’s easy to do research on executives, hiring managers, and other major players in your desired field. Get to know people digitally, then introduce yourself at conferences, fairs, and similar events. Show that you know them, and they’ll be far more likely to remember you -and if you get an email address, remember to send a thank you note afterward to solidify your impression.
GET SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY
Pretty much everyone has at least one social media page, but whether you’re tweeting, writing on a friend’s timeline, or sending a LinkedIn post to your contacts, you should adhere to certain guidelines. If you want to be seen as a professional, be sure to always use correct grammar and spelling. Use common sense. Remember when you were told, “don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your parents or grandparents to see”? Well, you probably don’t want the leadership team at your dream job seeing your less-than-professional posts either.
Formal paper resumes are fading away, and in some circles electronic resumes and cover letters are too. It can be helpful to post a resume on LinkedIn, so that people can see a full scope of your professional work, but is that really the best solution?