Improving your career branding does not have to be a daunting task. I have created an to do list in a simple and straightforward manner to improve your career branding in under one week!
Plan to spend one hour per day for the next six days. And by Sunday, you can put your legs up and see how you achieved a big goal by completing a series of small steps.
Update your Profile Picture on LinkedIn
Let’s start with the most important element – your image. Displaying the right LinkedIn image is the first step to improving your career branding. In fact, first impressions by looking at your photo are formed in 100 milliseconds, and the right photo can convey trustworthiness and competence. Therefore, not having a photo is not an option. Some people are averse to connect with a LinkedIn profile without a picture – what unspoken message are you sending to the viewer? It could be a message you don’t want or mean to send.
Don’t be afraid to put your image on LinkedIn, most people don’t care if you don’t look like a celebrity. But what they do care about is putting a friendly face to your name and qualifications.
Your headshot image should take up 60% of the frame while displaying a positive and professional expression. Ensure that the photo is reasonably recent and accurately looks like you (no heavy snapchat filters): hiring managers and clients looking at your LinkedIn profile do not want to be surprised when they meet you in person.
The Don’ts of LinkedIn profile picture:
- Don’t have a picture of your dog, kid, or a family photo. I know you love your family but we all do!
- Don’t crop out your friends in a group photo and call that your profile picture – consider getting a photographer if you can.
- Don’t have a weird shot or anything that is not professional or specific to your career.
- Don’t have a photo more than 5 years old. I am sorry to inform you that you do indeed age. Nothing is more disappointing to a hiring manager to meet someone 15 years older than the LinkedIn profile portrays. It might come across as catfishing.
- Don’t have a distracting background or any image that makes people wonder.
- Don’t take your own selfie.
- Don’t wear sunglasses unless you are visually disabled.
Having an appropriate profile picture on LinkedIn is your first opportunity at making the right impression. You can communicate competency, trustworthiness, likeability, and professionalism all with the right photo. Get this one step right and you’re on your way to correct branding.
Create a relevant social media account
LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, GitHub, Pinterest, or Twitter accounts are popular choices and fitting for technical professionals. If you only have one or two of these accounts, consider adding another account on a different platform to extend your career branding.
While you are setting up a new social media account, take time to update your existing accounts. Ensure that all your social media accounts do not remain dormant by dedicating a daily routine to interact, manage, and update your professional social media profiles.
Red flag alert:
As a Senior Technical Recruiter, a common red flag is an individual having more than one LinkedIn account. It is perfectly fine if you choose to start over and rebuild your LinkedIn from scratch but be sure to delete the old account. Having multiple LinkedIn accounts can make you appear technically incompetent and diluted in your goals.
Clean up broken links and update personal websites
No 404 errors, ever! You would not have grammatical errors on your resume, nor should you have broken links on your website. You are supposed to be technical, and broken links show a lack for attention detail. Test, test, and test every link on your website.
Nothing is more disappointing then to go to a website of a technical professional and then experience broken links. Additionally, update your personal website with correct contact information and write a few new blogs especially if your last blog was dated in 2015. If you don’t have time for a personal website or blog, then take it down.
Update your email address so it is professional in nature
Where possible, use your firstname.lastname combination or a version of it for professional contacts, so it is easy for your associates to remember. Try to think of an email address that is simple, easy to remember, and is professional in nature.
- Don’t use your birthday year in it as that is very old school and you are putting unsecured information out on the internet.
- Don’t use weird or playful email user names. Like email@example.com.
- Don’t use overly long emails either as it is very annoying to type for the sender. Like firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Don’t use emails that are boastful. Like email@example.com
- Don’t use emails that are political, lack thoughtfulness, lack judgement, display ignorance, display emotional immaturity, suggest sexuality in any form, rude, or unkind. I hope this covers everything, just use grandma’s common sense in picking an email address.
Update your resume and get your professional references ready in advance
Be ready for your dream job when it opens by having your resume updated and ready to submit at a moment’s notice. Update your resume throughout the year with important projects and success stories from your current work situation. Get your references ready in advance from past supervisors that support you professionally.
See my article on creating technical resumes here: https://arrowsolutionsgroup.com/blog/7-eye-catching-tips-for-writing-technical-resumes/
Create your own professional “tell me about yourself” statement.
Your “tell me about yourself” statement is a combination of who you are professionally and who you want to become in the future. Hiring managers and recruiters do not ask this question to know what you do on your off time or your favorite hobby. Rather, it is a quick and compelling statement that you can use and modify as you meet influencers in your professional life.
For a detailed explanation and how to create a professionally “tell me about yourself”, check out my article here:
If you complete these 6 relatively easy steps, you will be well on the road to increasing your career branding in 2019. Additionally, you will be ready for the right opportunity when it falls in your lap.
Start your year right and stress-proof your job search with these steps every technical professional can take in 2019.
If you need assistance, or have questions, please leave a comment or message me on LinkedIn – just click on the image or visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kkanneh/
I am happy to help you achieve your career goals. Remember: a series of small steps taken correctly can achieve your big goals!