If no one knows about a product, it can’t be successful. Enter: marketing.
Marketing gets the right people to know, like and trust your product. When done effectively, it encourages those people to invest in what you’re selling. At its least strategic, marketing fails to send the right message to the right people at the right time.
It works the same in your career. When the right people know, like and trust you, more professional opportunities will come your way. Your job application will leave a stronger first impression with recruiters and hiring managers, ensuring that you’ll score an interview. Your current manager will consider you for important projects and promotions. Your colleagues will be more receptive to you. People might even reach out to you about job opportunities when you’re not looking for them!
Before we go any further, let’s talk about what defines your personal brand. Your personal brand is what you’re known for. It’s the perception that people have about your skills and expertise, as well as the value you bring to a company. It’s also what you need to market yourself as a professional commodity.
The best marketing strategies can be used again and again over the years — and you don’t need to hit influencer status to develop them. You can still cultivate an ongoing marketing system without constantly writing articles, attending meet-ups or engaging on social media.
Creating and optimizing three key marketing assets will help you communicate your personal brand and position yourself as a hot professional commodity.
Let’s dig into each of these items.
A strong resume will stand apart from those submitted by other candidates for a job. It catches a recruiter or hiring manager’s eye so they are excited about the chance to interview you.Your resume should focus on results rather than responsibilities. Use action verbs to convey what exactly you did. Instead of saying “I was responsible for customer service,” try “Managed a customer service team of five people that handled 1,000 cases per week.”
Your profile should work in tandem with your resume to secure you interviews — but an optimized LinkedIn profile will also get you discovered by companies searching for prospective employees with your experience.
With a little extra attention to three specific elements of your profile, you’ll be more likely to show up in search results for recruiters and hiring managers.
LinkedIn Headline: The headline is the text that appears below your name at the top of your profile. If not customized, it will default to your current job title and company… which doesn’t really say anything meaningful about you.
Your headline should be a combination of what you do and what makes you unique. It should also include words and phrases that recruiters and hiring managers might actually use to search for someone like you.
About: When writing your About section, include the following information to expand on your headline:
- Notable results and outcomes from prior roles
- Relevant education or degrees
- Relevant career or industry experience
- What you’re looking for in your next role
- Side projects that offer examples of soft skills in action
- Any deal breakers for future roles so that you can deter the wrong types of opportunities from coming your way
Together, these elements should be enough to give readers a sense of your work experience and what makes you unique.
Work Experience: The Work Experience section should provide clear evidence of your skills and experience. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t just want to see a list of places you’ve worked. They want to know what you did while you were there. What you write for your Work Experience should mirror what is already on your resume. Go ahead and cut and paste, but feel free to add more details. A LinkedIn profile looks incomplete without bullet points under each of your prior jobs.
Pro tip: the first sentence in each part of your Work Experience section should provide the reader with a snapshot of the company.
Work or Interview Presentation
If your resume gets you in the door, a work or interview presentation can get you hired. You’re a stronger candidate when you can show your skills and experience to hiring managers and recruiters.
The most common mistake I see candidates make during interview presentations is to leave out important details about their work. Why did you do what you did? How? What tools did you use? Who was involved? What was the result? This level of context will set you apart from other candidates.
These three assets — your resume, your LinkedIn profile and your work or interview presentation — will help…