In Tri Delta’s new series, “3 For You,” we’re covering the best tips from experts as we navigate our new circumstances during COVID-19. Tri Delta alumna Liz Navarro, Pepperdine, shares her insights on developing personal branding. Read her three tips below, or listen to the podcast.
As the job market has become more saturated in the wake of COVID-19, it’s important—now, more than ever—to figure out a way to set yourself apart from other job candidates. The best way to do this is through personal branding. Here are three tips to help you build your personal brand for the current job market.
Tip #1 Identify and communicate your value add
Identify those things that set you apart or differentiate you. Instead of just saying, “I am a marketer” or “I am a school teacher,” think: I am a marketer…plus what? Maybe you’re a marketer whose great at SEO. Or, you’re a school teacher whose great at implementing new curriculum for different learning styles. Think about what it is you bring to the table that’s different from someone else who might have your exact same job title, experience or a similar resume.
Once you’ve identified your value add, you can start to build that into the different documents and spaces where you talk about your career. This can be the way you introduce yourself in your elevator pitch, your headline on LinkedIn, and the top part of your resume where you have a career objective or description. Once you understand what it is you bring to the table, lead with it.
Tip #2 Tell a clear and compelling career story
To tell a clear and compelling career story, start with what you do now and the results you achieve, and then walk through how you got there. To help build your story, think of the following: who you help, the main results you achieve and the problems you’ve solved. For example, if you’re a teacher it could look like this: When I received my first teaching role, we were at an elementary school that needed more teachers who could bring our students up to the main reading level. This is what I did in my classroom to bring my students up to reading level. I had 80% of them below reading level, I did X, Y, and Z in my curriculum. By the end of the year, only 50% were below reading level, and we were really close to closing that gap.
Starting off with the context of what you do and how you help people makes it easy for people to understand you and your career story in a clear and compelling way.
Tip #3 Share your work, goals and ideas
It’s easy for us to find ways to share our accomplishments through our online platforms, but how you show up on each platform is going to look different. For example, you may not talk about work on Instagram as much as you do on LinkedIn. Instagram may be reserved for personal updates.
At the same time, think about how you can use each platform to showcase all of the different sides of you. While potential employers will want someone who has the skillset and the experience they’re looking for, they also want somebody who is a culture fit on their team. The great thing about social media is that we get to share a lot of our personality in the platforms we show up in.
Remember that social media is a distribution platform, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only place where you can share your work and your goals. Now is a great opportunity for students or people who are in transition to find creative ways to share their work, whether that’s through a website, a blog, a podcast or even just a portfolio. If you’re a college student, it could be a portfolio of some of the best projects you’ve worked on that you can put in a digital format. If you’re a person in another type of job—like a teacher or an engineer—whose industry doesn’t use LinkedIn all the time, you can still put your career accomplishments into a digital format. For example, you might create just a PDF of a great project you worked on that talks about the project, goals, how you worked through it and what the outcomes were. You can then use that to put on a portfolio page or submit it with your resume. There are so many creative ways that you can showcase, not only your skillset, but how you can package that skillset.
Sharing your work doesn’t have to be just for job searching. Even if you have a job that you love, you can still look for and attract opportunities: it could be a speaking opportunity, being featured on a podcast, or sitting on a panel. Those opportunities don’t come up if people don’t see you and know the type of work you do. These strategies are an active way to be a magnet for opportunities.
Want more? Watch this video, or find more helpful 3 For You topics.