Some say that as long as you possess industry-relevant skills and talent, opportunities will come knocking at your door. But while many professionals are great at what they do, even the most qualified people are not always hired. In a competitive job market, your job search success can boil down to this: your professional brand.
Professional branding is the process of identifying your selling points and showcasing them to fellow professionals and prospective employers. These can be anything from your skills, experience, values, and accomplishments.
It’s part of your personal brand, which communicates who you are in the workplace, what you bring to the table, and what distinguishes you from others. The stronger your profile, the higher your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers. It can even help you gain connections and attract ideal opportunities.
It is for this reason that job seekers across all industries are jumping on professional networks, online and offline, to establish their personal brands and market themselves. Take LinkedIn, for example, one of the most popular professional networking sites, with a staggering 700+ million users.
The problem is with so many online profiles out there, grabbing the attention of employers is easier said than done. That’s why you need a solid professional branding strategy in place.
Teal, an online platform for job seekers, gives you a fighting chance to stand out among a pack of other applicants. It offers the right resources and tools to help you take control of your job search, including how to strengthen your professional brand and market yourself so you can land the role you’re applying for.
Teal is revolutionizing today’s job search by empowering job seekers across the globe with its innovative tools and features.Sign up for Teal today.
5 Ways to Improve Your Professional Brand for the Job Search
1. Know Your Strengths and Your Work Style.
Your journey to developing your professional brand kicks off with self-awareness. Determining your work style allows you to gain a deeper understanding of how you act at work. But more than anything, it also serves as your guide in navigating your strengths and learning how to leverage them to be more efficient and productive.
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If you don’t know where to begin, you can start by reviewing your job responsibilities and past experiences. Identify which aspects you excel at the most. Talk to your peers and colleagues and see what they say about you. You should also be able to pinpoint which of your soft skills help increase the value that you bring to your team.
Better yet, take Teal’s Work Styles quiz.
Work Styles by Teal is a fun and quick way to see which among the four temperaments you identify with the most. The way you behave and think set the tone of your work style. You can either be hopeful and sociable (Sanguine), calm and agreeable (Phlegmatic), ambitious and goal-oriented (Choleric), or cautious and logical (Melancholic).
Teal’s Work Styles quiz assesses which of these qualities you identify with the most, as well as how you fare in other categories. The test only takes three minutes to complete and is similar to other interactive personality-based tests, where you choose which words you relate to the most.
Below are examples of the kind of insights you can get if you complete the test.
2. Create a Concise and Strategic Resume.
For a very long time, every job application has started with sending out a cover letter and a resume—vital tools in your professional branding kit. Promoting yourself can be tricky. More often than not, resumes turn into huge checklists of everything and anything one can do in a bid to impress. Never mind if it takes up two pages or more or if employers will likely not have the time to peruse them.
Teal helps you avoid making the same mistake. Start with Teal’s Resume Builder, which generates your resume in minutes. The tool only requires you to fill out the necessary information or import your LinkedIn profile, after which it immediately crafts your resume with your chosen template. To complement it, you can use Teal’s Job Tracker—available as a Google Chrome extension—when browsing for roles on major job boards like LinkedIn.
A quick click of the button scans job listings for the top hard skills that the company seeks. It also suggests keywords that you should include in your resume, which is vital if you want to pass the dreaded ATS (Applicant Tracking System).
Many companies integrate ATS in their hiring process to weed out resumes that do not match their requirements as per the job listing. A resume that’s highly targeted towards a specific job listing, therefore, would be more effective and more likely to get bumped to the top of the pile. It’s also an indirect way of telling hiring managers that you took the time to read through their requirements and that you fit the bill.
However, a resume alone is not enough.
3. Build an Online Presence.
In an increasingly digital landscape, hiring managers rely on what they find about a candidate online. That’s why nearly every article about job search tips will tell you that you should create a LinkedIn profile, even if you’re not active on other social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook.
LinkedIn is home to millions of working professionals, including recruiters and business leaders. This makes the platform a great resource to tap into whether you’re looking for opportunities or building connections.
However, in an oversaturated platform full of job seekers like yourself, the question is: how do you bring attention to your profile?
Teal has the perfect solution for you: its free LinkedIn Review tool.
The LinkedIn Review tool starts by highlighting your strengths while also determining areas on your profile that needed work. For instance, it may flag missing vital information and keywords that you’ll need to add to increase your chances of getting on top of the recruiter’s list. Or it may suggest that you rewrite some of your profile sections.
That said, Teal understands that not everyone is a wordsmith, which is why it created the Blurb Builder. This savvy feature gives you a hand in creating blurbs that bring focus to what you’re good at, your experience, and your achievements. Aside from your LinkedIn profile, these customizable blurbs can be used on your resume, email introductions, and your elevator pitch.
Teal’s Achievement Assistant feature is perfect for when you’re having a difficult time summarizing and selling your accomplishments. The Achievement Assistant feature formulates a compelling description that you can copy and edit for your LinkedIn profile.
4. Curate a Portfolio of Your Best Projects.
A professional portfolio is a compilation of your past projects. It should highlight how you approach problems and communicate how you use your skills to build solutions.
If you are just starting your career or have internship experience under your belt, you can always create mock projects. For example, you can search for past challenges that real companies faced and show how you would have solved them. Or if you want to be a bit more creative, you can always create a pseudo client with realistic challenges to solve.
Curating a portfolio is tangible proof of the results you can achieve, thereby increasing the confidence of hiring managers that you are the right person for the job. It can be a huge plus, especially when applying for jobs with steep competition, and helps strengthen your personal brand.
5. Be Intentional When Networking.
Part of fortifying your professional brand is through intentional networking. Expanding your network is not about sending random connection requests on LinkedIn and other platforms to people that you will most likely never talk to. Again, you have to remain authentic to your goals and how you want to be perceived.
Start by connecting with like-minded individuals who can help you learn more about the industry you’re in and how you can move towards your goal. Intentional networking is also a great way to meet potential employers and industry leaders whom you have better chances of working with.
Take advantage of workshops and corporate mixers of all sorts that are hosted online and in various apps. Large companies and business chambers are also known to host networking events. And of course, you can join groups or chat with hiring managers directly on LinkedIn.
If you are on a job hunt on LinkedIn and other job search platforms, Teal’s Contacts Tracker saves you the hassle of keeping tabs on the people you have connected with. It’s an easy way to source all vital information in one place and track your progress with each contact at a glance.
Boost Your Job Search Success
Teal is bringing a more dynamic job search experience to job seekers worldwide. By leveraging tools like Teal’s Job Search Tracker, Resume Builder, LinkedIn Review, and Work Styles, you can create a strong professional brand that gets you noticed. And because these tools make the process easier and quicker, you’ll have more time to sharpen your skills and practice for interviews.
Teal also boasts a free knowledge base of career classes, workshops, and other live events that you can join online. Learn how to negotiate your salary, how to transition smoothly from one company to another, and how to ace your interviews. Or get a free and comprehensive guide to managing your personal brand.
If you miss any of their events, you can always access Teal’s past recordings and watch them on your own time. These are hosted by Teal’s team of seasoned experts, ensuring that you are learning from the best.
And the best part? You can access all of Teal’s offerings at $0. So, are you ready to boost your job search? Join the thousands of Teal members across the globe for free.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.