Summertime means more free time. A chance to relax. But also, a chance to be productive. Summer is an excellent time for job seekers to take a look at their personal brands. Does your brand reflect the kind of job you want? Is it doing you justice?
Take advantage of your extra free time this summer to refresh your personal brand. Here are five ways to do it:
1. Re-evaluate your goals.
For a lot of people, kicking off the summer also means the end to another chapter of their lives. Whether it was school, an internship, a job, or something else entirely, it’s important to re-evaluate your goals before starting the next chapter. Look at what you’ve accomplished and where you want to be headed. Make a list (written or mental) of your new goals. Decide what you need to improve about your hard or soft skills in order to accomplish these goals.
2. Create a new website or blog.
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A recent study showed that 56 percent of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool, but only seven percent of job seekers actually have one. If summer gives you more free time, now is the perfect opportunity to create a personal blog or website. Choose a platform and get started.
3. Update your resume.
It’s important to keep track of all the places that list your professional information. Now is a good time to update your resume, cover letter stories, website bios — anywhere you’ve listed information online. When going through all of these platforms, be on the look-out for two things: what you’ve done and where you’re headed. Update your experiences (especially your most recent accomplishments), as well as your goals.
4. Refresh your look.
Replace your professional photo on all of your social networks. Take lots of photos so you have plenty of choices. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you have the same profile photo on your website, blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social network recruiters will visit. A consistent photo across all of these platforms will make your brand more memorable.
You should also take a look at the theme of these platforms. If you use sites with customizable layouts, backgrounds, and features, you should make these consistent as well. Go with something clean and professional, but don’t forget to include some personality.
5. Promote yourself.
Finally, once you’ve taken the time to refresh all of these items, it’s important to promote them. Use all of your social networks to cross-advertise. Emphasize the new pieces you added to these platforms. Promoting your brand is just as important as cultivating it. It’s a great way to gain to connections and grab the attention of old ones.
There is no limit to the number of ways you can refresh your personal brand this summer. However you do it, make sure your brand is helpful to furthering your career. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Make your brand professional, unique, and memorable so when recruiters hear your name, they know you’re the right candidate for the job.
What are some other ways to refresh your personal brand?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.