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Can a strong personal brand help you land a job?

I’ve recently posted about the importance of cultivating your personal brand. ICYMI, your personal brand is the image or impression that you can establish about yourself in the minds of others so that they can easily identify what makes you unique, and what you’re considered the go-to expert or resource on. This group includes colleagues, contacts in your network, your employer or potential employers.

While I know that personal brands are important, I’m always on the lookout for new research and information. I recently came across a CBC Radio Spark episode that revealed that personal brands aren’t the ultimate predictor of career success.

The episode featured an interview with anthropologist Ilana Gershon of the University of Chicago. Gershon wrote a new book called Down and Out in the New Economy. In the interview, she explained that a shift in the relationship between employer and employee has resulted in the way that we present ourselves as “businesses” in the job search.

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“We are imagining ourselves as a bundle of skills, of assets… that we’re constantly having to manage, and we’re also supposed to be continually enhancing them.”

Ilana Gershon

Gershon studied how people find work in today’s job market. I was surprised to hear that although job searchers are routinely told to work on their personal brands, Gershon found no evidence this was effective with hiring managers.

What made a difference? Sixty-one per cent of people got jobs through workplace ties and references.

Note that this study was conducted across many different industries. In certain industries (for example, PR and communications), personal brands may hold more clout and be a worthwhile investment of your time. Further, your personal brand may make an impact with others in an organization, beyond only the hiring manager.

What can we take away from this finding? Your personal brand is important. But it’s not necessarily going to be the deciding factor that gets you hired.

This confirms that there are other items to consider. For example, your connections, years of experience, skillset, understanding of the industry, education and designations play a role. Your portfolio, resume, references and interview skills are critical as well.

So, it’s beneficial to be well-balanced. Spend time thinking about and cultivating your personal brand in a way that works for you. But, also invest in the other elements of your professional and job search skills.

How do you stand out in the crowd of job seekers?

Photo credits: Pixabay.com; cbc.ca / Ilana Gershon.

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Google your way to a new job

Google for Jobs - via Google

If you’re like me, you use Google to find out pretty much everything you want to know. But, Google probably hasn’t been your go-to for one of the most important types of searches you can do – a job search.

Well, there’s good news! Google has created Google for Jobs, which is a new product that can help people of all skill and experience levels find jobs.

Announced by Google in May, Google for Jobs will provide a new search feature that collects and organizes millions of jobs from all over the internet, making them easier to find.

I thought it was interesting that job search results can be refined, allowing the user to learn more about the specific qualities of jobs. For example, you can find jobs with full or part-time work, accessibility or public transit nearby.

Google for Jobs is being launched in the US first. Launches in other global regions – hopefully including Canada – will follow.

Will you try using Google for Jobs when it’s available in Canada?

Photo credit: Google.

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Do you need to provide a leave-behind of the work in your portfolio?

Are hardcopies passe

Is your portfolio still in hardcopy format? Or, are bringing an electronic version of your portfolio to job interviews?

If you’re using a tablet to display your professional portfolio, a brief leave-behind is a memorable way to share your top, most relevant samples at a meeting with a client or employer.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com.