A Step-by-Step Guide to Establishing a Personal Brand
With so many people interested in charity work and only a limited number of jobs available, how do you stand out from the masses? Sure, a killer CV is always a good place to start, but there’s always more you can do to flesh out your personality, your skills and your passions in a way that captivates recruiters. In other words, you need to establish your brand.
Let’s face it, people will find you online and the way you present yourself may impact your chances for a job. So why not take control and use your online presence to your advantage? Job seekers who want to work for a charity or not-for-profit can use their social presence to build a personal brand that showcases their style and strengths.
From how your career profiles are written to what you share on your social accounts, your online brand can give recruiters a glimpse of who you really are (and how well you’ll fit into their organisation).
Let’s take a closer look at how to create a personal brand that charms recruiters and lands you a charity job.
First, determine what makes you a strong job candidate
Think about your strengths and what sets you apart from others. What are the characteristics and skills that have boosted your career in the past? These are the traits you want to highlight wherever you can, including your CV, social media profiles and during in-person interviews.
Do you post lots of travel photos? Then you have a clear sense of adventure. Maybe you’re bilingual – that makes you a good candidate for jobs that require working overseas. Or maybe you write a regular blog about films or food – then your communication skills will really shine through.
All the things you publish online showcase your skills in one way or another, you just need to figure out how and embed those into your next application.
Keep things professional
Every time you do something online, assume that your potential employer can see it. Your social media accounts probably existed before you were a job seeker, so you should go back to clean up anything from the past that you wouldn’t want an employer or coworker to see.
And if you don’t want to delete those hen do photos or hide the fact that you like to go out for a night with friends, consider making certain photo albums private or only visible to your network.
In addition to maintaining a wholesome online presence, make sure you have a mature email address (like your name instead of something cutesy) and comb through your website to remove any posts that are too personal for your work connections to see.
Create a platform for sharing your brand
Once you’ve updated your social media accounts, it’s time to think about how and where you’ll share your personal brand, style and voice. Decide what you want to be known for and how best to get that into the world.
Build a website and pick two or three social media platforms that you’ll use to showcase your brand. Choose the mediums that work best for you, whether that’s writing blogs, shooting how-to videos for YouTube or sharing photos on Instagram. Your goal should be to show who you are and get exposure to the right people you want to work with.
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Showcase all your accomplishments
Organisations that are seriously looking to hire won’t always take the time to explore your many social profiles and pieces of content. You should have one place where everything important is gathered, like a LinkedIn profile or a personal website.
But don’t just write about who you are—show it. Briefly cover your job history and responsibilities, list your awards and accomplishments and share links to your best content, like articles you’ve written for industry outlets or videos you made that garnered a lot of attention. And always make sure there’s a way for people to contact you.
Network with the not-for-profit community
In order to share your personal brand, you have to interact with others; people won’t head to your website or Instagram account simply because you have one. Create a list of the causes you’re most passionate about and connect with them online.
Sites like CharityConnect and LinkedIn are great places to meet other charity professionals, so it’s worth joining groups and making yourself part of conversations. This sort of networking gets you involved with the community and can also introduce you to a company you want to work for.
Not-for-profits strive to make a difference, and if an organisation sees that others are listening to you and interacting with you online, they’ll want to leverage your influence for the greater good.
Collaborate with leaders in your niche
Networking is a great start but chatting with someone on LinkedIn or re-tweeting a post on Twitter won’t necessarily get you a job. After you’ve built up some relationships online, take your networking into the real world.
Collaborate with others on passion projects, attend seminars, volunteer for charity events or simply invite someone out for coffee to talk about your shared interests. Building relationships goes beyond having a lot of connections online or ‘knowing’ someone because you’ve emailed back and forth.
Of course, it always helps to document your involvement and share it on your social channels. Take selfies at volunteer events, post a blog about the event you attended—just showing that the community is a part of your life cements your dedication to the sector.
So how do you want to showcase your brand?
Your personal brand shines a spotlight on your name and career. You’ll use it when you’re a first-time job seeker and for years after. It’ll change and evolve as your career does, but it will always express the strengths, skills, personality and values you can offer the people you work with.
There are several free sites that allow you to build websites and blogs, and YouTube is always a great place to publish videos on a topic you care about. Ready to get started?