As a REACH Certified Personal Branding Strategist I get regularly updates on changes within this area. Not everything is relevant to all my clients, but it’s useful to understand these trends.
Less use of text, more use of pictures.
It’s getting easier to share images and create videos, so you may like to add some of these to your LinkedIn profile and via the updates. You don’t want to swamp others with shared quotes but an occasional one that resonates, or using an image along with your message will make it more ‘sticky’.
Upgrade Your Headshot
People like to see a picture of us, and it needs to be professional, but no need for formality. With so many selfies out there, and so many tools to help you, you can’t get away with a blurred image or one with you at a party, with others cropped out. We live in a visual world and this is how others see you. People make judgements based on how we look, whether we like it or not, so make it a photo you like and makes you feel good.
Use video for online communication
Why phone when you can see each other? Almost all my client session, including enquiry calls are via Skype. It’s great to see the other person, and far more personal. I have found some problems with Skype recently so I’m going to look into switching to Zoom. If you only want 121 video calls there is no charge for the service. With groups Google hangouts could be good with 25 concurrent users in HD video.
Video is also being used in interviewing, and the trend is for the candidate to answer questions online via a digital service, which is later assessed by a real person.
If you want to raise your profile, you can demonstrate ‘thought leadership’ via YouTube or similar hosting sites with links from your LinkedIn profile.
Own Your Career
Dan Pink wrote about us being free agents. This means taking responsibility for your own career development, building new skills, and staying on top of rapid changes.There is less corporate training in the classroom setting and more training via online resources. Don’t wait for your employer to suggest you learn something, think about where you need to grow and develop and find a course online.
Be ready for tripadviser style ratings
As more people freelance, they use sites such as Upwork, and people will leave you feedback. It can be seen an encouraging us to do a good job but there is still a possibility for people to take a very personalised and vindictive stance.
Have an effective online presence
Yes, you may be on LinkedIn, but do you have an effective profile? Does it set out your strengths and make people want to get in touch. Make it personal, so its like meeting you in a coffee shop rather than a very formalised style where you are referred to in the third person. If you enjoy writing you might also like to set up an account on Medium and share your articles there.
Too many people think of themselves as a commodity, but we need to find our difference and own it. This can then shine through all of the above. I love the 1950s and have the car and the clothes, and as you see in my headshot, can have the hair and makeup too! It makes me stand out. I also embrace my quirks – my energy levels, my love of adventure, being a too many ideas person … it might not appeal to everyone but it doesn’t need to, I don’t need a lot of clients, just the ones I’ll work well with.
Denise Taylor: award winning career psychologist and personal branding strategist with Amazing People. For 20+ years she has helped clients understand who they are and make effective career choices through cutting-edge innovative careers coaching. Her career books include Find Work at 50+ and Now You’ve Been Shortlisted.
If I can be of help with any aspect of career development or job search or you want to create an effective LinkedIn profile please get in touch.