hand holding the word brandSocial media, Googling and the likes are one of the first places that a recruiter can attempt to gather background on a potential employee. What an individual volunteers in public (and the web) are fair game and a great resource for better understanding who the next hire should be. Likewise, your applicants are going to the same places to gather similar information.

It’s easy to market chocolate to candy lovers and cars to interested buyers, but when it comes to a recruiter and applicants, marketing yourself isn’t so simple. The challenge of building a personal brand can be difficult, but, according to Placester and Feldman Creative, so beneficial.

Though the A to Z pointers seems extensive, truthfully, the 26 pointers can easily be summarized into 5 rules:

1. Be Real. Establish who you are and what your goals are in the long run, then stick to them! Knowing who you are and what you stand for will not only define what is needed from current and future employees, but also help build a genuine personal brand.

Authentic leaders are strong leaders who keep employees engaged and encourage new hires to work well with the team. Along with a positive environment, authenticity is welcoming to interviewees. Who wouldn’t want to work for the company with happy employees?

2. Be Aware of Your Appearance. That doesn’t mean taking a professional headshot that erases all blemishes and has amazing lighting. Appearance isn’t all about the LinkedIn profile picture (however, it is recommended for both credibility and saturation to have a nice picture in all social media outlets).

The way a company and its employees are viewed can change the success of hiring and happiness of employees. Having a great personal brand involves being a great brand ambassador.

That said, only 14 percent of companies have employees who understand the organization’s strategy, goals, and direction. The first place to start when it comes to building your brand ambassadors’ arsenals is developing a clear idea of what they are supporting.

3. Brag a Little. Everyone has something to show. Social pages should be a place where all the wonderful things you and your team do, whether it be great content or interesting experiences.

Everything from volunteering, fundraising, blog posts, infographics or conferences give social pages personality, and in turn, give their owners personality. Again, while this helps with personal branding, it supports the look of the company for which you work.

4. Give Praise. No one entered the field or industry knowing it all. In fact, no one will ever know everything and this is great news.

One benefit of not being omniscient is that there is someone who deserves shout outs. Be open about who helped you get to where you are and in turn pass the knowledge on. Someone is in need of the same advice. It’s a great cycle that all industries have and the place you play in it can be the difference in a strong and out of this world personal brand. Also, job seekers (and maybe even some of your hiring managers) don’t know all that a recruiter does.

A great way to get started is by sharing the content that give aha! moments. When content is shared, relationships and thought leadership are built. No one should have to make a case for networking when it comes to recruiting. While you’re sharing that great content you find, write some of your own. Use what you’ve read as inspiration and use the opportunity to develop even more insight. Even the Slideshares and PowerPoints used in presentations can make for engaging knowledge sharing.

5. Be Zealous. Not everyone is outspoken and that’s fine, but if you don’t have passion then you don’t have any way to affect the person from which you’re sitting across the desk.

Consider your audience and where you fit within them and run with it. Create a voice for all the content you produce and stay consistent. Be open to questions, encourage opinions and stay true to who you are.

“Weak brands focus solely on intellectual arguments. Strong brands tap into emotions. The subject you need to master is psychology.”

Mastering your own personal brand is difficult, but so important. Defining who you and the company are can help not only in your online presence, but also in an interview setting. People want to be employees of passionate companies and positive brands.

How do you and your company help encourage positive personal brands? Where do you like to show yourself off?

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