Do you know how important an employer brand is? Of course you do! You know that it can be a major factor in not only attracting right-fit candidates, but also influencing them to apply and helping to turn them into satisfied and productive employees. But did you know there’s one element that you can use to support that employer brand and help make your company an employer of choice?
It’s your own personal brand! As a Recruitment Marketing and employer branding practitioner, the way you communicate with potential candidates and applicants through social media, email, text and events all reflects your personal brand. Every touchpoint you have with a candidate is shaping their view of your company and the people who work there, starting with you! It’s what talent sees in the interactions you have with them, whether it’s an in-person conversation or a piece of content you share with them.
So why should you cultivate your personal brand to support your employer branding strategy? Here are a few reasons:
- It shows by example the great people who work for your company (because you’re an employer brand ambassador, right?!).
- It helps to build strong individual relationships with candidates.
- It puts a face on the employer brand and helps to humanize it.
- It can establish you as a thought leader in your industry.
- It follows you on your career journey.
There are many ways you can build and develop your personal brand, with one of the most effective being through social media. When candidates search for jobs and look to interact with practitioners working at the companies they apply to, their first stop will be social channels. While Facebook and Instagram can help your personal brand, LinkedIn and Twitter are the strongest platforms you can use to amplify your brand as a professional and better connect with talent.
And I want to give credit where it’s due! The idea for this blog came from a presentation I attended at this year’s EBrandCon. Amgen Employer Brand and Recruitment Marketing Lead John Graham, Jr. gave a compelling talk on why practitioners should build a strong personal brand and discussed the different strategies for doing so. I combined his insight with a few other branding tactics I researched to bring this blog to life.
Here’s what you can do to create a personal brand on social media that resonates with the right candidates and supports your organization’s employer brand efforts.
Create a compelling profile
Your personal brand starts with your profile. It’s often the first thing candidates see when they research you and your organization. If your profile falls flat, a candidate might not be encouraged to follow through on learning more about your company, especially if they’ve interacted with you before.
The following elements on your profile can help you draw in and engage with candidates:
- Profile photo: This puts a face to the name of who candidates are communicating with. Aim to use a clear, well-lit picture that displays your face — preferably smiling, of course! A great profile photo can be the first step to building a trusting relationship with talent.
- Compelling headline: LinkedIn gives you the option of creating a headline summarizing your profile which appears below your name. While you’re limited by character count, it’s a good idea to tell candidates about your passion. Communicating this passion at the top of your profile can entice visitors to check out the rest of your experience and credentials. This headline from John Graham, Jr. is a great example:
- Succinct summary: Your summary, either on LinkedIn or Twitter, should be a compelling message about what you do, where you’ve been and how you grew in your career up to this point. Share what experiences have helped you learn and how you want to help others. And remember to add in a splash of personal info, because there’s more to us than just our jobs!
- Background photo: Background photos are an excellent way to showcase a bit of your personality and to jazz up your profile. Colorful photos can provide a more dynamic touch. Ideas include a photo of your company’s employer brand initiatives, screenshots from Recruitment Marketing campaigns or even just an image of the city you live in. These photos tell candidates who you are in one glance.
Lead with authentic content
To better connect with candidates, you’ve got to be yourself. And that includes the content that you share on your social profiles! Before sharing a piece of content, put it through the authenticity ringer. Does it represent your views? Does it provide value to candidates? Asking these questions ahead of time will ensure your content helps support your profile and accurately reflects you as a practitioner. Also, aim to share owned content from your company along with curated content from elsewhere (retweets count!) to up the authenticity factor more. Check out this shared content example of a tweet from HubSpot’s Chief People Officer Katie Burke:
Evolve your brand with your growth
Just like your employer brand, your personal brand isn’t static. As you grow in your career, make sure your personal brand is growing with you! It can be a change in position, a new certification or a new development opportunity, even a new perspective on life. Whatever it is, reflect the changes in your profile and in the content you share to reflect that growth. This will ensure that candidates get an accurate, authentic view of you as a professional, and a glimpse into the kind of great people they just might be working with.
As you create and continue to build your personal brand, you can explore other ways to strengthen it. This can be in the form of writing blogs or creating videos that feature your personality and your thought leadership. With a purposeful personal branding approach, you can ensure that you continue to reach the right candidates and further fuel your organization’s employer brand.