It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that you build your personal brand during a global health crisis. But actually, this is the ideal time. Before we get into the “why,” you may be asking yourself what a personal brand is and why you should care about it. The simplest way to answer these questions is to Google yourself. What pops up, and is that how you want to present yourself to the world? If a prospective client or future employer researches you on the Internet, are you satisfied with how your personal brand is represented? According to a CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and approximately 43% of employers use social channels to check on current employees. Given the ultra-competitive job market, your online presence should be an asset, not a liability.
Now is also the perfect time to focus on your personal brand because it allows you to do things like:
Attract high-caliber talent
Having an effective personal brand can help you to attract highly qualified employees and clients. When well-crafted, it can provide a competitive edge and act as a valuable recruitment tool. If you can generate an authentic personal brand, you’ll attract motivated individuals who want to rally around you and your company’s mission. As a result, your workforce will be more engaged, productive and loyal, according to one Gallup study. These days, the search for talent has shifted to social media, and employers recognize the trend. Even companies like global pharmaceutical giant Merck are empowering employees to build their personal brands to attract talent. Using the stories of their own employees as content pieces, they can engage with and attract outstanding people to the company. Research supports the idea that an individual employee’s personal brand can benefit the company. Content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement and is reshared 24 times more frequently than content shared by brand channels.
Reinvent your career
With the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are rethinking their career path. They are seeking more meaning and fulfillment and want to work for companies that genuinely care about their employees. If you are one of those individuals contemplating a career pivot, your personal brand is a key component in that process. The first step is to determine what you want your personal brand to represent. What position would you love to have? Would you like the same job in a different industry or a career in a completely new field? Determine whether you need additional work experience or new skills. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. By making slow and steady changes, you’ll be able to use your personal brand to successfully reinvent your career.
Create a competitive advantage
You can no longer count on talent alone to provide a competitive edge. If you want to differentiate yourself from your peers, you will have to boost the level of trust others have in you. There’s no better way to build credibility than by creating a strong personal brand. A robust brand makes it easier to get referrals and recommendations, which is one of the best ways to stand out in a crowded job market. It’s not always the most skilled and experienced person that lands the job. More often than not, it’s the candidate with the most compelling personal brand.
Maximize your virtual presence
Covid-19 has dramatically changed how humans interact with one another. The pandemic has increased our digital footprint and reliance on the Internet. Global lockdowns and social distancing require that individuals and businesses communicate virtually more than ever before. That means more competition online for attention and job opportunities—underscoring how critical it is to have a substantial virtual presence. That’s why personal branding right now is so vital. It will help you stand out among the crowd and maximize the online arena. Focus on what you can control—your personal brand—and you’ll find yourself better prepared for a post-COVID world.