Gone are the days when we prepared a two page word document called it the resume and that was good enough to represent us for a job interview.
With the changing atmosphere, like everything else, that process has changed tremendously in recent years. Fueled by the growth of Social Media and the internet, no more just a piece of paper is good enough representation of who you are today. You need more than just a resume today to stick your neck out. Who you are, what you stand for, your values – building that image about yourself requires more than just a MS Word resume.
"Your resume is no longer a piece of paper.It's the Google search results of Your Name", says Mike Merill, Director of Marketing for ReachLocal.
Personal branding, self-positioning or individual branding was first introduced in 1937 in the classinc book "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill when he introducted the idea Chapter 6 – Organized Planning. For the first time ever Napoleon Hill brought to attention, how much important it was to best represent a written statement of your personal brand before going to market your services.
It isn't a secret anymore that every employer, government agency, financial institution is looking for information on Google about the individual in question. Whether you agree or not, You've been Googled and you are being Googled everytime somebody wants to know about you. Therefore, it is absolutely important to take control of your personal brand, control what you want the world to know about you. The great news is, creating and controlling the brand You, is in your hands.
The Social Media, The Internet, The Cloud gives you tremendous opportunity to show your strengths, your values, network with people and companies.
Today, you can increase your odds of success significantly by creating your personal brand image, controling it and using it to your advantage. Web gives a tremendous power in your hands if you just learn to use it in your favor.
So, if you are reading this post, stop for a moment and do a Google search on your own name.
What do you find ? This is exactly what rest of the world finds about you when they Google your name.
If you liked the results, Congratulations! You are doing good. But if you would like to improve these results, the good news is, you can really improve these results almost without any major financial investment.
It requires work, little by little, but sure enough you can create and control your personal brand. Here are five small steps you can start working on rightaway in that direction:
1. Decide to Create Your Personal Brand: It is the most important aspect of this process. If you don't think it's important, then it doesn't matter. Do your your research until you are convinced that you really need to take control of your own personal brand image.
2. Create Your Social Media Profiles: Having a genuine profile with your real picture and a few realistic public details about yourself is the first step in the direction of creating your personal brand on the internet. Having a profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is very important today. You may or may not like using Social Media websites, but the sooner you accept them as a tool to help you, the better prepared you are to create an authentic and powerful presence on the internet. Some people create the profile and that's it. However, it is important to have a growing network on social media. Start making some friends online.
3. Create Your Profile on WordPress.com and Amazon.com: Your Amazon.com profile has high visibility on Google search pages and therefore, if you have a good Amazon profile, you improve your search results significantly. I would highly recommend you to write reviewsof the books you read on Amazon. It is a simple step, but very helpful in improving your presence in Google search results. Similary, www.wordpress.com is the most powerful blogging plateform on the internet today. Having a good profile with your picture there, gives you an opportunity comment on wordpress blogs and yet improve your Google search rankings.
4. Reserve Your Domain: Having a domain of your own is of tremendous value in creating your personal brand. You can have a .com, .me, .org, .info or whatever you get or like. But having an email ID as [email protected] is very impressive and important at the same time. You can use GoDaddy.Com to reserve a domain on your name. They are very affordable by just doing that, you can secure an email address with your domain for free. If you have questions about it, feel free to ask in the comments below.
5. Comment on Blogs: When you read a blog especially in the field you like, make sure you leave a comment. Adding comments to blog posts allows you to link you with that blog. This is an amazing way to improve visibility of your profile and increase your network. A lot of times people don't understand the value of writing comments on blogs. But those who do, benefit.
More than anything else, the smallest action is far better than the greatest intention. If you like what you have read here so far, go ahead, take action and start working on creating your personal brand. Your online presence is your real resume, your real asset!