Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!
Today’s Question: What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone who is trying to clean up their personal brand before job hunting? How will this help their chances of getting hired?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.
1. Google Yourself
Run a Google search of your name and location (the latter is especially important if you have a common name) and evaluate whether the image of you the algorithm presents is the one you want employers to see. You cannot clean up your personal brand unless you already know how it looks and what you desire to change. — Duran Inci, Optimum7
2. Highlight the Strengths You Have
Focus on the strengths you have. If that doesn’t feel like enough, highlight your passions as well. Use your personal brand as an opportunity to create the blueprint for becoming the person you want to be. Showcasing your enthusiasm can really impress potential employers quite a bit. — Richard Fong, Automatic Growth
3. Focus on Skills More Than Qualifications
The current economy has proven that those who survive difficult times are those with certain skills. Businesses can benefit from a skilled employee more than a person with a good educational background. I’m a college dropout myself, and I was fortunate to understand the world is run by talented and skilled people. — Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz
4. Simplify Your Language
You can clean up your personal brand by simplifying the words you use to describe your experience. People don’t have the time or patience to read a 2000-word post about your industry experience. Keep information about past jobs, experience, and education to a minimum to attract the eyes of busy employers. — John Turner, SeedProd LLC
5. Focus on Building Value and Connections
You want to create content and have some great personal branding if you want your reputation to carry you forward. This is something that more companies are going to look at when they evaluate a candidate. Consider hiring someone to audit your profile. — Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.
6. Use Social Media for a Positive Purpose
When I research prospective hires, I look at how savvy and influential they are on social media and how they interact with others. If they are polite and provide value, I’m always impressed. If they are rude, inappropriate, or lack engagement, I quickly realize they do not understand how to interact with others and may not be a fit for our company. — Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences
7. Streamline Your Website
The best way to clean up your personal brand before job hunting is to streamline your website. We’ve all visited personal brand sites that were clunky and lacking innovation. Spend some time cleaning up your design, streamlining contact forms, and fleshing out your resume and testimonials. You’ll have a much better chance at getting hired that way. — John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
8. Highlight Your Practical Work
Although professional qualifications and experience are important, practical work matters more than anything else. Someone who has done coding from childhood and is a whiz at solving technical problems isn’t necessarily going to have a tech degree. In your personal brand, focus on the practical projects you’ve done. Create case studies to highlight your abilities on your social media accounts. — Blair Williams, MemberPress
9. Consider the Image You Want
Consider the type of image you want to have. If you haven’t planned this out before, then it’s likely you have content on your accounts that doesn’t align with your personal brand. In that case, it’s necessary to delete any posts or subjective opinions from your social media and start fresh. — Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
10. Write on Job-Focused Platforms
Create content on job-focused social platforms and provide feedback to others whenever possible. When you create a small community through your personal brand, recruiters will be able to easily recognize your work ethic. Also ensure that all of your personal social profiles are professional in nature and content. — Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
11. Look Through the Eyes of a Prospective Employer
Look over your social media accounts through the eyes of a prospective employer. If you have posted a lot of content that might be a problem on a particular platform, you might want to delete that account entirely. Don’t be too self-critical, though, as people expect you to have some life outside of work. — Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting