Tips for building your professional brand in a digital era Digital channels are enabling us to learn and interact in more ways than ever before. Think about how many apps or experiences exist for news outlets, entertainment, shopping, even dating…but did you think it would influence how we look for jobs? We’re not talking about networking sites or job boards. Have you thought about a Tinder for jobs experience? Apps like Switch and Jobr are giving candidates a new resource for finding jobs in a medium they may be more accustomed to – snackable posts that can be consumed in a moment. Within seconds, you can review a job and its salary and decide if it’s something you want to pursue. Pretty nifty, right? Well, have you thought about who is sitting at the other end of the app? It’s most likely the hiring manager, or at least an influencer in the selection process, and that person is doing the same thing that you’re doing – taking a very brief moment to review your qualifications before making a snap decision. It’s not just apps that are creating these brief moments of opportunity. So in this digital clutter, are you putting your best foot forward? How are you representing yourself in the short seconds a hiring manager sees your profile before moving on the to the next candidate? Your personal brand is more important now than ever. With only seconds to make a good impression, what you broadcast to companies you want to work for could very well make or break your chances of getting the job you want. Here are three important things to keep in mind for creating and maintaining your personal brand during the job hunt. 1. Brand, Brand, Brand The hiring manager is looking for someone who is going to make an impact on their team and in the organization. Be unique. Show depth. While you may only have moments to communicate your experience, you can still show who you are. Think about making a unique statement about your career aspirations, or communicate how you can be an asset for company progress. 2. Always be Prepared After establishing your brand, be ready to support what you put out there. If you aren’t working on your brand and road mapping your career path, the lack of preparation and forethought is going to be obvious. Now think about preparation in terms of these apps or other digital channels – when you’re responding to job posts on the fly, it’s important to be ready to pitch yourself. The influencer is sitting on the other end reading your response in real time. 3. Break through the Noise Hiring managers and recruiters have a plethora of inbound channels funneling candidate information to them. These channels are cluttered, backlogged and gatekeepers are in place to filter qualified candidates. How do you get past these road blocks? By bringing together your brand and preparing ahead of time, you’ll be armed with a strong perspective and vision for your career path. Your confidence in what you have to offer will be apparent to the influencer on the other side of the process.