Burnish your profile online for better opportunities

Burnish your profile online for better opportunities

It is important to think in terms of building and selling a personal brand when applying for new jobs

It is important to think more broadly about building your personal profile or brand because that is what you are ultimately trying to sell to a prospective employer. Credit: iStockPhoto

The resume still remains the go-to document when applying for a new job or position.

However, social networking sites and employment-oriented digital platforms have added more dimensions to the job search effort, turning into places where people can “show-off” their career competencies and attract newer, exciting and rewarding opportunities.

“Freshly graduating students and professionals entering the workforce have been getting pretty traditional and conservative advice, leading these young people to focus on traditional resumes, which is certainly important, but a resume is only the part of the puzzle,” says Dan Bena, a Corporate Purpose Consultant and Global Career Coach.    

It is important to think more broadly about building your personal profile or brand because that is what you are ultimately trying to sell to a prospective employer.

Passion matters 

That personal brand has a lot of different elements.  “More importantly, you want to be seen as having passion for either what you are doing or what you want to do. It is a funny thing about passion. It has a way of shining through no matter what,” adds Bena.  

So do you highlight your degrees and the series of courses you have taken?  Partly yes, but identify with are transferable and portable skills.  

These could be things like ‘driving collaborative impact’ or ‘leading a strategic team initiative’ or ‘responsible for key deliverables’.  

The words you use matter. ‘Driving’ and ‘leading’ are strong words and indicate that you take ownership of your work.

Bena emphasises the importance of being seen as a collaborator.

“Collaboration is important because it shows that you are not out just for yourself, but actually want to be part of a team success and that is the reality of the workplace.”  

The present-day workplace is not about being a ‘lone wolf’ but values a thoughtful team player.  

There are several professional platforms out there but LinkedIn, with over 700 million members and 14 million job postings worldwide, remains popular.  

Even here, it is important to get your resumes in different formats.

Make a really compelling case by highlighting your accomplishments, especially your portable skills. Remember, there is plenty of scope to be creative on a platform like LinkedIn.

There is a huge opportunity to post your own writing and articles — similar to starting your own blog.

Don't exaggerate 

After all the talk about pitching and promoting yourself, it is appropriate to end with a cautionary note.  

While it is possible to go overboard about your competencies and skills, be careful to highlight the really important ones as well as maintain accuracy.  

Do not overstate, misstate or exaggerate your skills or credentials.  

Coming across as inauthentic can set you back in many ways. These principles and ideas are equally applicable on any other career or networking platform as well.

So go forth, explore and flaunt your skills and passion. You are bound to land valuable professional connections, exciting opportunities and key lessons on the road to a successful career. 


(The author is SVP at Safe Water Network and also advises working professionals)