4 truths about the future of personal branding

Hard copy resumes. Cover letters. Online database applications. We’ve all created them. Updated them. Managed them. But are they still relevant in today’s job market?

In my seven years in the job market, I’ve always monitored branding trends. What I’ve realized in today’s brutal career landscape, just having a resume and cover letter is not enough. In fact, having an online presence is not enough. You have to maintain it. If you keep these three ideas in mind, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your personal branding objectives.

LinkedIn will be the modern resume
Traditional resumes will not fit into job market in the future. My advice: Forget your Word document resume and start building your online presence so that recruiters can find you. Down the road, companies won’t ask for your resume; they will ask for your website URL.

Your online influence will put you at the top of the pile
Ten years ago, if you had hard skills for the job, that was enough to land the job. As the market became more competitive, companies started looking for soft skills, like presentation, writing, organization and leadership skills. Today, you need to have hard skills, soft skills and online influence. In communications, you could be hired based on your Klout score, Twitter followers or who RTs you.

Your personal brand and professional brand will unite
Think about how many times YOU login to check your Facebook. Most of you reading this probably check a handful of times. When you house your ideas online, your actions can affect the way people around you treat you, in and out of the workplace. Like I’ve always said, everything you publish, and whatever is said about you online could likely be there for a lifetime.

Also, do you agree that HR headhunters are doing online background checks on job applicants? You betcha! Business leaders and employers are already Googling applicants. I predict most companies will use the Internet to verify candidates. If you can’t be found online, it may show you aren’t as valuable to employers as other candidates. Like I’ve been saying for years, I advise everyone to build a personal website and manage your reputation before other people do it for you.

My point to all of this? Take these trends seriously when moving forward in your career. The sooner you build your brand and take advantage of new technologies, the more prepared you will be for a successful future!

What would you add? Join the conversation.

Note: This is an adaptation of written works and ideas of Dan Schawbel and Sarah Evans.

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