Building Brand You: 3 Truths About the Modern Job Market.

Photography: MTV

Photography: MTV

Written by Zoe Brindley, Founder, Building Brand You

I spent the first years of my career on the busy reception desk of an executive search firm in Melbourne’s CBD. A boutique business of recruiters working with huge brands to recruit their newest CEO’s and CMO’s. Amongst the meeting and greeting, I was tasked with re-formatting their very impressive CV’s, and assisting in the overall application process for short-listed applicants.

My years here taught me some very important lessons on the importance of brand you.

1. If you are your brand, then your CV is your vessel.

Whilst it is crucially important to meet the needs of the job ad through what you identify in your CV, standing out as unique is almost as important as being the right candidate. Recruiters read almost daily that an applicant is a “team player”, “go-getter” or a “hard worker”. I don’t doubt that you aren’t any of these qualities; but so is everyone. Using broad, vague adjectives will only leave your application sounding like everyone else. You’re amazing and the recruiter needs to know this.

Using specific, action-based words in your CV will set you apart from the multitude of qualified applicants applying for the same role. If you’re a hard worker, specify when and where you acted as such so the hiring manager is convinced that you can offer this to their company. If you’re a go-getter, provide an example of when you successfully achieved something proactively at work that was outside of your remit.

2. When you apply for a job, the recruiter/hiring manager will Google you.

Once your CV and cover letter is ready to go, you need to consider the health of your personal brand online. Are any of your social profiles public (along with images of your younger self double-parked at Stereosonic 2009)? Are your passionate political views laid bare on an old, disused Twitter profile? Before you hit send on a job application you’ve poured your heart and soul into, make sure every intimate part of yourself existing on the internet is private.

Meeting with a prospective employer is a unique opportunity in life to curate and present yourself in a way that you want to. I love your emphatic opinions on our nation’s politicians - but it’s not something a prospective employer needs to know about.

3. LinkedIn is your ultimate personal story selling tool.

LinkedIn can no longer be considered an afterthought. For the busy recruiter, your LinkedIn profile is pretty much a shorthand, straight to the point version of the CV and cover letter you’ve submitted. In some cases, they may read this first to decide whether your CV is worth reading or not (I know).

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to be a little more creative, and provide the hiring manager with more of an insight into your personality and personal brand ethos.

At a minimum, making sure your photo is up-to-date, the date ranges of your experience mirrors exactly what’s on your CV, and creating a clever overall summary of who you are is crucial. To step things up, start commenting on relevant articles that pop up in your feed, sharing content to your feed, or even posting examples of your work to your profile. Every interaction appears on your LinkedIn profile, so it gives the hiring manager the chance to see proof that the passion for marketing you mentioned in your application is genuine.

Need some inspiration? These business trail-blazing career women expertly use LinkedIn as a tool to tell their personal brand story:

Emily Weiss, Founder & CEO of Glossier, Founder of Into The Gloss

Melanie Perkins, Co-founder & CEO of Canva

To talk about to me about building your personal brand you can reach me here:

Sarah Fritz