Job Seekers, you are not managing your brand!

Prior to becoming a Photographer I was a Headhunter. Basically employers would hire me to find their next super-duper Rockstar employee. To do this I would have to look through hundreds of applicants, screening them for skill set, talking to them for soft skill set, prepping them for interviews etc. One of the areas I coached was presentation and branding, both online and in-person.  Let me dig a little deeper...!

You see we are visual people.  Take a situation where you meet someone for the first time face to face. Instinctively you look for micro expressions, in that 1 to 2 seconds you are searching for a connection at a subconscious level. Have you ever met someone that just didn't feel right? That is your subconscious telling you that the micro expression hunt came up with nothing, so you just can't connect with the other person. The EXACT same thing applies to your online Branding, be it through your LinkedIn page, informative Twitter account, vibrant Instagram page, jam packed GitHub, Your headshot is front and center of that experience!

An amazing headshot shows that you are Professional and Confident while being balanced with warmth that shows you are Approachable. Confidence lives in the eyes and approachability comes from the mouth.   Here is an example:

Confident and approachable.

Remember as a job seeker you are your own brand! You have to market yourself to get the word out that you are awesome! Use your headshot to show who you are... a Confident, Approachable and Professional person!

Top 5 things Job-Seekers need to do now!

Some of you know that I was a recruiter long before I picked up a camera (since 2004!)!  I have come up with a list of 5 must have items in your Job-seeker Personal Brand toolkit!

1. Be a part of the conversation!

If you are on LinkedIn, make sure that you are actively participating in the field that you are interested in!  Look for a post relevant to your field, like and comment on it (add value to the conversation).  Employers and recruiters pay attention to these posts and seeing intelligent comments go a long way to your brand!

2. Move on from your young years.

Ooooo boy, this one will be a point of contention for some!

If you have a public Facebook/Instagram/Twitter profile, ensure that the content best represents who you are now, not who you were 5 years ago.  If you look like a drunk frat boy throughout social media, then potential employers will see you as that drunk frat boy!

3. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer!

Looking for a job can be very tough! Volunteer work counts a experience, so while you are looking for your next role offer your time to a not-for-profit. You will gain valuable experience, be active in your community and helped out a great cause!  Post about it on social media and update your resume to show the experiences.

4. Network.

Connect with recruiters, business owners and hiring managers in the companies that you are looking to work in.  When they accept your invite send them a nice heartfelt message stating your interest in their specific company and exactly why!

5. Look the part!

Your face needs to look it's best! Update your profile picture to be professional. A professional photographer will be able to make you look and feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera.  That will go a long way when you are working your social media!  A professional headshot is an essential piece of the personal brand!


Do you want to see my top 5 DON'T DOs?!  Please share and like this post if you do!