Think you don’t need a website that brands you personally because you work a 9-to-5?
Just when you felt as though you knew the rules for getting ahead in Corporate America, the game changed. Personal branding has been all the buzz over the last few years in the career space. If you are not playing in the game, you could be easily overlooked.
Whether you are a Gen-Xer, trying to plot a path forward for the remaining 25 or so years of your career or you are a Millennial or Centennial at the beginning of your career journey, an online investigation into who you are and what you do is an established part of today’s pre-hiring processes. Is your brand visible? What will they see?
One of the best ways to control what hiring managers and recruiters learn about you is to have your own, personally branded website. Here are five reasons why.
It’s one thing to actively contribute to industry-focused conversations on social media. It’s another when you have
your own website where you share your perspectives about the work you do and the people you serve. With your own website, you instantly are viewed as being credible subject matter expert (or at least an important player in the field). Your own website is also a great place to display your portfolio or examples of your work.
If you’ve maintained a website, blog, YouTube channel or podcast consistently for six months or more, and your content is good, you’ll soon become known as a trusted resource others will reference. Your ability to gain the attention, respect, and trust of an audience will cause you to stand out when you are seeking a new position. Just imagine: three candidates are up for the same role. Two have resumes which are the standard fare but one says they run a popular industry blog (or podcast, or wrote a book). Which candidate do you think will be the frontrunner? Make sure that front runner is you!
In the not so distant past, resumes were all we had to tell enough of our career story to generate interviews. The problem is the two page maximum on a resume is limiting. With your own personally branded website, you can take your time to share the career story you want told in an engaging way (videos, slide deck, photo gallery, etc.) that puts you in the best possible light. In some cases, you might even bypass interviewing hurdles and be ushered straight to an offer!
With your own website – especially if it is “YourName.com” – you give yourself the opportunity to rank higher in a Google search than any other sites (social media in particular) which host information about you. A good action step to take is to Google yourself and see what comes up. Clean up old information about yourself and edit or delete unflattering information as much as you can.
When your personal brand is highly visible, it’s not uncommon for new opportunities to come and seek you out. On the mild end, you can expect invitations to write for other blogs or print publications. If you get really popular, don’t be surprised if you are invited to be a media guest on TV, radio or podcasts and billed as an industry expert (you can also choose to submit your information for media requests and you’ll likely be accepted). You could also find yourself fielding speaking engagement requests. The ultimate, of course, is when job opportunities come to you, rather than the other way around. Typically when this happens, companies are more willing to pull out all the stops and be very flexible in negotiating in order to get you.
As you can see, building your personal career brand is worth investing the time to do so. If you haven’t started your own career blog, purchase your domain name today; I’ve been a big fan and customer of GoDaddy.com since 2003. If you’re not sure how to populate your site, stay tuned. Next week I’ll be sharing some content ideas… and if you’re not a writer, rejoice! I have some great tips for you.
Got questions? Leave them for me in the comment section and I will answer!
Happy brand building!
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