Personal Branding – A Secret Weapon for All New Graduates
Here's the highlights from the LinkedIn Local Chicago Panel!
When you set up your profile on the linkedIn, being excited to looking for a new job to kick off your career after graduation. However, a few weeks later, you haven’t received anything. You thought that is because you are a newbie and lack of experience? Look at your friend, who has a similar experience and the same grade with you. This person received interviews invitations every day. Maybe instead of you are not good enough, you didn’t do enough to tell people how good you are, which is a weak personal branding. Well developed of social media platforms allow everyone expresses who they are in the way they want. However, building up a professional personal brand could be a real challenge to new graduates and young adults.
LinkedIn Local Chicago teamed up with Social Jack and hosted an incredible panel about “Personal Branding to Build Your Influence Online”. LinkedIn Local Chicago (LinkedInX) is a social group that helps the users improve the usage of LinkedIn. It also provides chances for local businesses and professionals to connect with each other. They provide a Social Teaming system by which you can achieve any goal in Marketing, Careers, Sales or Life by building, scoring, and scouting the ideal support team.
What is Personal Branding?
Jaime Cohen, a messaging & personal branding strategist, is the founder of Jaimbalaya. She believes personal branding is about what an individual is known for, where others can find them, and what is they are about. A strong personal brand usually means that the person presents themselves in an authentic way. Similar to the mission statement and vision statement to a business, personal branding is you telling the world who I am, and where am I going to go.
JD Gershbein, an expert in personal branding for thought leaders, considers personal branding the behavior of a person and the value they show to the world. When someone thinks about you, what you are doing will come up to their mind. And it works the reverse way, when they need someone has this particular skill, they think of you.
Why is it important?
Let’s be honest, when recruiters or HR manager see your resume, they don’t know you. However, when they are looking at your profile picture on linkedIn, you created a desire for him to know more about you, and that is the chance you need to show how great you are. You can show them you are a new graduate who is looking for an internship, or you can show them you are a young professional who is well-prepared to put what you have learned in school into the real business.
The most efficient way to build up a professional personal branding is one’s profile of LinkedIn. JD sees LinkedIn profiles as a raffle, “you have to be present to win.” Other than that, Dean DeLisle, founder, and CEO of Forward Progress and the creator of Social Jack, sees LinkedIn as an event and the profile as the first conversation you have with someone there.
All three of the speakers agree that a LinkedIn profile is the first expression a person shows to the world. It’s essentially the first step of the personal brand, so it should look real. When you create your profile, you need to identify who your target is. For example, if you’re looking to be hired as a manager, make sure to show lots of leadership experience. Once you connect with someone, be sure you have a human conversation and get feedback from them.
As an average person, how do we do to keep our LinkedIn outstanding?
- A professional looking profile picture
You need a picture to express you are professional and work hard. A picture with a business formal suit in a simple background would be a perfect profile picture. Of course, don’t forget your beautiful smiling. The confidence of yourself also gives confidence to your employers.
- A finished summary with a story
Who you are, what do you do and what do you like are the three basic elements you should put on your summary. A lot of people stop right there, but as a new graduate who desires success, you will also put a story to present yourself better. JD believes that telling a story that came outside of the resume is a good strategy for reaching out to a new contract. You might be able to expand your networking with your exciting story.
- Have recommendations on your profile
Invite your former employers or professors be your recommendation. A third-party professional recommend will make your skill looks much more credible. Usually, the more the better, but 10 high-quality recommends will do better than 50 average recommends.
- Join a group
LinkedIn groups really help people out, because the more groups you joined, the more specific you can share with the right group of people. When you narrow your targets into a small group instead of the world, you will reach and only will reach the people who are interested and understand what you are saying.
- Claim your URL
After finished editing your profile page, don’t forget to claim the URL of your own, so you can put it on your resume. And it will be easier for you to remember. The best format would be www.linkedin.com/in/yourname/ so everyone can find you easily.
- Keep your LinkedIn account updating
Alternatively, Jamie advises others to create content. It could be a video or an article, but the point should be to show passion and energy for what you’re really interested in. That way, you’re more likely to attract the people who have the same passion, and maybe one of them will be able to help you with your career.
Is there a better time to update your profile?
Dean believes that any time could be the right time for updating.
“Post what are you thinking before you got there”.
What’s the best way for newbies to approach LinkedIn?
Other than enriching your profile, Jamie recommends new graduates be proactive,
“LinkedIn is just like a big playground, all you need to do is go and ask them if they want to play together.”
For new graduates, it’s recommended that they go out and talk to the people they’re interested in. Asking someone out for a coffee is the simplest way to get quality connections quickly.
Any takeaway quotes for new graduates?
“There is not a tracking map to the success, you need to keep working and exploring the right track for you.” – JD Gershbein
“When you are in school, that is the start of your network going forward forever. So make sure you connect to all those are on the path your success. That means professors, colleges, anybody you meet along the way and continue to do that for the rest of your life and you always be successful”. – Dean DeLisle
“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, ask the things you want for, ask for help, but also when you meeting new people, approaching as making friends. Don’t approach people because you want something from them. If you see someone who you do want something from them, do research see how you can help them. What is it you can do to add value to their lives to their brands, to whatever they are doing. And create a friendship, naturally, they will want to help you”. – Jamie Cohen
By the end of the night, LinkedIn Local Chicago and Social Jack provided all participants with a relaxing environment to get connected with each other. By talking about their takeaway from the night’s discussion and plans of building up their own personal branding people left the event more informed than when they entered.