The economy continues to recover at a frustratingly slow pace, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a 6.7 percent unemployment rate as of February 2014. That rate is hardly an inspiring number for job seekers, as open positions get flooded with hundreds of applicants. One way to stand out from the crowd is by building your personal brand through social networks and social media sites.
LinkedIn is the largest career and business-centric social network, making it a necessity for building your personal brand. Social Media Today recommends using LinkedIn as a way to connect with the decision makers at the companies you apply at. In addition, LinkedIn provides you with an online platform for displaying your skills, experience, and other resume information on a high ranking website. According to Lab24, 22 percent of top level executives utilize LinkedIn for industry networking, making it a strong platform for getting your face in front of the company's movers and shakers.
Many employers search for your name to get an idea of your industry involvement and achievements. Write a blog that revolves around your industry, whether you run a specialized review site or provide how-to information for the processes you use on a day to day basis. When you write about your chosen career, you establish yourself as an authority figure in the field. Tie in your personal brand's blog with social networks so you build up a following on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites that you share your content on.
Google+ may not have taken off as the most popular social network, but it does have a great deal of tie-ins with the search engine. Google+ authorship puts your profile shot and byline next to content written by you, letting you stand out in the search results. When you pair this up with building authority and influence through a blog, you create a platform that shows you are involved and active in your industry.
YouTube, Ustream and other video sites are great if you're better at showing than telling. Show how excited and passionate you are about your industry by video blogging about the latest advancements, live streaming a crafting process, or creating a video series that introduces users to the basics of your industry. You can create short films using stock footage or your own images to draw customers in. Live streaming apps are available on Android and iOS platforms, which benefit from 4G upload speeds offered by T-mobile and other wireless service providers. These videos are also content you can repurpose for your social media profiles.
Control Your Sharing
Remember that your prospective employers thoroughly Google potential applicants. Check what you've made publicly available through your Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. You want to give the impression that you're a serious, hardworking prospect. That impression gets undermined if an employer searches for your name on Google and finds all sorts of party pictures from your Facebook profile. Use two Facebook profiles to separate your professional and personal lives, if necessary. Periodically search your name to determine what information is available, and swiftly deal with any negative information that you may find trending.