Most of us are familiar with the concept of branding. The biggest companies in the world today aren’t just defined by what they sell or do but by how they present themselves to the world. Think of how Apple conveys itself as an innovator or how Nike promotes its image as an empowering company.
Branding allows companies to demonstrate what they stand for in a way that strengthens connections with their target audience and unlocks new opportunities. However, branding isn’t just for businesses.
Every HR professional has a story to tell about their goals, skills, expertise, and experience through personal branding. Even if you haven’t developed your own dedicated brand strategy yet, you’re already conveying some image to your future employers and colleagues.
If you want to land your dream HR role, one of the best things you can do is refine and optimize your personal brand. Here’s how you can get started.
Step 1: Define Your Brand Essence
The best HR personal brands are authentic, value-driven, and consistent. If you want to convey a powerful image and identity to others, you first need to define who you are as a person. A good brand will honestly reflect your skillset, values, experiences, and most appealing traits.
Sit down with a pen and a piece of paper, or any other tools you prefer, and ask yourself:
- What makes you unique? What compelling qualities will you bring to an HR organization? Do you have a strong set of ethics, an impressive background in your industry, or experiences that most other professionals wouldn’t have?
- What drives you? What do you stand for? What are your life and career goals, and what values help you navigate decisions? What motivates you to pursue the next industry role in HR?
- Where do you struggle? Understanding who you truly are as an HR professional means knowing how to recognize your weaknesses. Ask yourself what kinds of tasks and challenges drain your energy the most. Where do you feel you don’t thrive as well as others?
Alongside the answers to these questions, you can also list some additional defining traits that are specific to you as a person. Ask yourself what your key qualities are, what sort of skills you offer, and what makes you attractive as an HR candidate.
If you have difficulty defining yourself, you could ask others in your workplace or social circle what words and phrases they would use to describe you.
Step 2: Decide How You Want to Be Perceived
Once you know yourself as an HR professional, it’s time to think about how you want others to view you. In other words, what aspects of your brand personality do you want to communicate above all others?
Do you want future employers to perceive you as a talented, ambitious go-getter, ready to take the initiative and explore new work styles? Do you want to be seen as trustworthy, honest, well-respected, and highly educated?
A good way to determine how to build your brand identity is to look at some of the people you respect in your industry. Ask yourself what qualities they have that you share and how you can draw more attention to those likenesses. You could also consider writing an elevator pitch for your brand based on your knowledge of the HR industry.
Ask yourself what skill set, talent, and reputation are required for someone to thrive in your ideal role. This will help you build a more appealing brand for future employers.
Step 3: Audit Your Current Presence
When you know how you want to be perceived in the HR industry, the next step is finding out whether you’re sending the right message.
Remember, every professional already has a personal brand, whether actively nurturing it or not.
There are a few ways to research what people will think about you. Start by searching for your name on Google and making a list of what comes up in the search results. Can people easily find your portfolio or LinkedIn profile? What do your other social or profiles on HR industry forums say about you and your past experiences?
Pay close attention to your social media presence during this step. 70% of employers now screen candidates by looking at their social accounts. Ask whether you have a complete LinkedIn profile showcasing past roles and endorsements. Do your personal social media accounts send a message about you that conflicts with your ideal brand identity?
It’s worth thinking about your offline brand too.
- How do you present yourself in interviews or at work?
- What does your personal appearance communicate?
- Are you confident and well-spoken?
Step 4: Share Your Brand Story
Using the information you’ve gathered from your personal brand audit, you can start exploring ways of bringing your brand story to the world. You might decide to create a personal website or portfolio where you can share content about your past experiences with anyone in the HR industry that might be looking for your name.
It’s also worth developing your social media presence. Ensure you portray a consistent image across all your public social channels. If you have personal accounts you don’t want employers to see, set them to private to avoid damaging your reputation. Most importantly, check to ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete and compelling.
Most organizations and recruitment companies use LinkedIn to learn more about candidates. Ask yourself how you can add value to your profile by updating your profile with a professional headshot, an eye-catching headline showcasing your skills, and a range of endorsements.
Step 5: Develop Your Network
Finally, in the HR industry, who you know can be just as important as what you know, particularly when it comes to ensuring people recognize and understand your brand. Developing your network in both the offline and online world will help to make you more credible in the eyes of potential employers.
Consider joining groups on LinkedIn and Social Media relevant to your industry. Connect with forums and join professional directories connected to the HR space. Think about attending industry events and conferences where you can interact with other like-minded people in your space.
Perhaps the best way to develop your network is to consider working with an HR recruitment team. A specialist recruitment agency will help ensure you’re sending the right message with your personal brand and reaching the correct employers.
They can help you refine your CV/Resume and your online presence and advise you on how to stand out from the crowd.
Stay On Top of Your Brand Reputation
With the five steps above, you’ll be well on your way to developing an engaging personal brand for your career in the HR industry. Remember that a personal brand is dynamic; as your experiences, social spheres, and skills evolve, your brand will transform too.
Ensure you’re constantly monitoring your reputation and updating your branding strategy to present the most authentic picture of who you are.
At Purple House Recruitment, we have been helping firms acquire talent and HR job seekers find their ideal roles for over 21 years, and during this time, we’ve helped hundred’s of companies solve some of their recruitment challenges and placed thousands of candidates;
If you want to find out how we can help, call us at 0117 957 4100 or email me email@example.com