Without fail, interviewers will always ask you the following question: Tell me about yourself.
“Well, I’m a recent graduate from such-and-such university and I majored in being the best that I can be. I consider myself an intelligent, hard-working, creative and passionate person. And, right now, I’m looking for the perfect position for me.”
If you’re one of the lucky few, most of that will be true!
However, as prospective candidates we can begin answering that question well before we reach the face-to-face interview. We possess the power to bring the employers to us; to wine them and dine them without even seeing their faces or hearing their voices.
Enter the Online Personal Brand
Your Online Personal Brand is a definitive representation of you that centres on differentiation, communicating your offered value, and honestly and strategically packaging your personal and professional self with a sense of vision and self-awareness.
Carve out your niche. Really tell them about yourself. Because, after all, employers want to get to know you.
The online platform – that is, the Internet and all of its web applications – make developing an Online Personal Brand relatively simple. The central principle is that you must provide the definition and, ultimately, you control how the world sees you.
That same online platform, however, can also make it exceedingly difficult to be seen due to the high level of saturation within the blogosphere.
The Online Biography – an open window into better understanding you (exercise discretion, of course).
The Online Portfolio – the show part of ‘show and tell,’ where the work you’ve done and what you’ve achieved can be adequately showcased.
With these elements, you can create the resumé of the future.
TalentEgg Tip: Traditional resumés are far from dead at the moment, however, so don’t forget about it yet – most jobs still require an electronic or hard copy version of a traditional resumé. Venture online to be part of the growing number of people slowly changing that reality.
When it comes to thinking creatively about job hunting, we too often relinquish ourselves to the natural ebb and flow of job boards and online applications. They definitely serve an important purpose, but instead of waiting for a surge in demand for your brew of talent, create that demand yourself.
The benefits of online resumés and portfolios are many:
By creating a website or blog you enter into the wonderful world of search engines (most notably, Google). Instead of prospective employers stumbling upon your Facebook profile, they see www.you.com, something which accurately reflects who you are and why they should hire you.
You will also be exposed (and indirectly linked) to all other related blogs and websites – suddenly, your name and what you have to say matters and has the potential to be read by almost anyone in the world.
As stated above, your Online Personal Brand is your opportunity to show and tell others about yourself, from likes and dislikes, to professional goals, to quirks, qualms and other intangibles.
Branding boils down to presentation: the look and feel of a site, what you say and how you say it, and how seriously you take it all.
Controlling Your Brand
Being the mastermind behind your own online existence and means you control how employers and the web perceive you. However, don’t forget to Google yourself once in a while so you know about anything out of your control.
Definition = Content
Your words are powerful. Use your words to further define your web space because “excellent communication skills” are often at the top of any employer’s checklist.
What better way is there to showcase those skills than with subject matter you genuinely care about?
Network With Your Network
You are now a link. You can be linked to and you can link to others. The most powerful network imaginable has just opened its doors and you’ve decided to walk over the threshold.
This self-made web presence can effectively summarize you in a few simple clicks. This may sound scary and unattractive to those who don’t wish to be placed in a box.
However, it’s important to remember the ‘box’ is of your own creation and no one can better define you than you.
To get started, try out some of the following online resources
WordPress – Quick, easy and free blog hosting and setup
TypePad – Another great blogging software specifically for professionals and small businesses, but it has a cost
LinkedIn – A first step to building your professional network