Personal Branding and Your Job Search Activity in 2021

Millions of workers lost their jobs in the year 2020 because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic had on the global economy. In the United States, there were hopes that things would have improved significantly by the time the holiday shopping season started, but now we know that was not the case. With a new administration doing everything possible to distribute approved vaccines on a mass scale, improvement of the job market in 2021 is looking like a more feasible prospect, and this is why you should not experience such a hard time getting your career back on track.

With regard to competition, there is no reason why you should not expect to see it this time around. Keep in mind that minimum wage increases are being implemented in many states, and this prompts employers to be more choosy in terms of hiring criteria. At the same time, there will be a certain sense of urgency to fill some positions rather quickly, which means that you should have already completed the process of updating your resume and LinkedIn profiles.

Let’s talk a bit about the matter of personal branding for a job search because this is something that does not have to do with logos or slogans. A personal brand should be more dynamic than an established commercial brand when it comes to looking for a job; what this should mean to you as a job seeker is your online presence. Whatever is visible about you online can be either supportive of who you are or detrimental. You should always assume that prospective employers will be entering your name and other personal information on Google as soon as they receive your resume or application.

What defines your personal brand online is the type, quality, and details of the information that can relate to you. Right off the top, some of this information may have been provided by yourself or third parties. If you are active on Twitter, for example, this will be one of the top listings at the top of the Google search engine results page (SERP), but only if your profile and username provide hints about who you are. Herein lies a delicate aspect of personal branding: If your Twitter profile points back to you, what will the content you have tweeted and retweeted say about you? If you are trying to get a job at an investment banking firm, for example, a Twitter timeline filled with obscene tirades against Wall Street will not be conducive to your personal brand.

Now we can talk about the next step of your job search, which consists of Googling yourself. What do you see? Do you really want a hiring manager or job recruiter to stumble upon unsavory information? If the SERP listings can be controlled, you should get busy with scrubbing your online presence as soon as you can. Most tweets can be deleted, and you can also adjust your Twitter settings to limit the viewers who can see the content you post. Some social networks allow you to delete profiles if needed.

Being able to control information that comes up on the Google SERP will not always be something you can do. If there happens to be unpleasant social media chatter about you, or if you discover alarming news reports or even opinion pieces, you may need to retain the services of a reputation management agency. To a certain extent, reputation management firms apply a highly strategic approach to search engine optimization (SEO) in order to improve your online presence. Some people believe that these agencies can only repair damaged reputations; this is not accurate because most clients actually seek to build their online presence through their specialized services.