Q: What is one thing a job hunter can do ahead of time to make their personal brand stand out among other applications?
A: Include videos. “It can be difficult to express your personal brand in a standard resume. Shooting short videos talking about your goals and background or custom videos for a position you really want will help you stand out. Like it or not, hiring managers make a lot of assumptions based on your name, address, educational background and even email address. Videos allow you to bypass the assumptions and express yourself.” Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems
Write a great cover letter. “I think it’s incredibly important to write a compelling cover letter that is tailored to the company that you’re applying to. Do not write a generic letter and don’t make the letter about yourself. Make the letter about the company and how your skills would fit well into what the company is doing while citing specific examples.” Luke Skurman, Niche.com
Have a presence other than LinkedIn and share it. “You’re a designer? Lead with your portfolio (whether on Behance or your own domain). Developer? Get to the point fast with your Github profile. Biz dev guru? Maybe answer some questions on Quora and share your profile. Not only does this get me more meaningful information related to your skills, but it actually shows your awareness of the modern work landscape.” Tarek Pertew, Uncubed
Blog. “There is something to be said for a person who shares his or her ideas and opinions with the entire world. It takes confidence, courage and ambition. The blog space is an untamed arena for individuals to unleash their thoughts. I highly recommend people start blogs in their areas of expertise BEFORE they need a job. This is a must in developing a solid personal brand.” Dusty Wunderlich, Bristlecone Holdings
Dress for the job you want. “In other words, work to establish a personal and visual brand around the job that you hope to have, not the one you currently do. The way you dress, act and look (i.e. brand culture) will speak just as loudly as your experience when it comes to getting hired. As a CEO, I specifically interview people with a creative, unique flare to their work who also understand promptness and deadlines.” Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
Impress with a website. “An aesthetically pleasing, well-designed, personal website will make you look extremely professional. This is your opportunity to really promote your personal brand. Employers will be impressed by the effort and understand how seriously you take your work. Just put the link in the application and let employers learn about you visually as well as textually.” Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
Be prepared where others aren’t. “A good hiring manager knows how to identify a candidate who can make things happen. One of the ways to know is to observe their preparedness. For example, make your compensation expectations known. Describe the tangible value you bring beyond the job responsibilities. Learn required skills before the interview, not after. Anyone can answer normal interview questions. Be better without being asked to.” Adam Roozen, Echidna, Inc.
Add depth to your portfolio page. “There are several ways to go above and beyond the standard resume and list of accomplishments that many of these pages feature. I strongly recommend blogging and participating in discussions within your industry, establishing valuable connections along the way and making a name for yourself in the industry.” Phil Laboon, WUDN
Do the work ahead of time. “Whenever you do the work ahead of time, you’re showing that you’re seriously committed to working at that company. To do high-quality work, you need to understand what the company is about and what it’s trying to accomplish. The time and effort it takes to produce something worthwhile without even speaking to the company means you are world-class.” Eric Siu, Single Grain
Have a strong online personality. “The world is filled with personal brands nowadays. As an employer, the first thing I’m going to do is Google you. What I want to see isn’t the same generic LinkedIn, personal WordPress and empty Quora profile that everyone else has. Show me that you are multi-dimensional: take a strong stance on issues and let the world know. There are plenty of digital soapboxes; find one and yell.” Slater Victoroff, Indico
Prioritize skills based on the job posting. “One of the easiest ways to improve your odds of getting noticed is to prioritize your skills from the top-down based on the specific job you are applying for. For instance, if you apply for a software developer job at a mobile app development firm, prioritize your mobile app development experiences over other things like the how recent the job was or the amount of years served.” Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com
Create a killer opening line. “These days, resumes can come in droves, leaving most people looking for reasons to hit ‘delete.’ The best way to demonstrate your personal branding is to show you are different. Personal branding is about distinction, and opening up with a powerful opening line in the body of the email will intrigue the recipient.” Raoul Davis, Ascendant Group
Pay attention to language. “They need to ensure their messaging is concise and to the point. In my opinion, people can get a feel for your brand through the language and words that you use in the job postings, on the first interview and throughout the process. Do not be so rigid, but make sure you are supplying the person on the other end with the information that is important to the position you are looking for.” Jayna Cooke, EVENTup
Find the hiring manager and pitch to him/her. “Great people don’t always follow the rules. If we are looking to hire a client-facing position (salesperson, account manager) and they attempt to reach out directly to the hiring manager, then I know that person is probably going to succeed. By demonstrating their ability to research, write a compelling pitch and get that pitch to the right person, they will surely secure an interview.” Ross Resnick, Roaming Hunger