“Influence is defined not only by the impact you make in your professional field, but also by the value created by your contribution.” Andrea Pfeifer
A personal brand could not be more prevalent than it is today. Companies in the life sciences sector are becoming more aware of the benefits it has to hire a candidate that has a strong personal brand with an engaged audience. It can be the edge that sets you apart from other candidates and makes you look like a more attractive hire.
So, what comes up when you Google your name?
If the answer is nothing, then it’s time to get back to the drawing board and develop your personal brand. It could be your golden opportunity to land your dream job or even progress to the next stage of your career in life sciences.
How did Elon Musk become the world’s richest man? A good product, paired with even better personal branding!
But what is personal branding?
Personal branding is the process of developing and maintaining your reputation and credibility. It is the impression people gain from the content you post online, as well as the combination of your personality, skills, and experience.
Standing out in the life sciences industry by using your personal branding can pre-qualify you as a candidate who could add value to the company’s culture and not just fit in. It’s a great opportunity to show your audience your work and why your research matters, creating an interest from your peers and potential employers.
This is the difference that what will make you stand out from the rest of applicants, so now is the time to take advantage of your social media channels and start building. Generating interest in your personal brand will increase your chances of securing a job interview and give you the chance to move forward in your career.
Social media channels - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc - can open doors for life science professionals, giving opportunities for networking and career progression. If you exist on any social media platform then you already have a personal brand.
So, why not leverage it to take control of your online persona and help increase your visibility to potential employers?
According to a study by Adweek, 92% of companies are using social media for hiring, with 3 out of 4 hiring managers checking a candidate’s social media profile. This highlights just how the important it is to have a strong personal brand. It creates your public and professional image so be sure your social media presence matches how you want the life sciences industry to perceive you.
Having a personal brand can also be a great way to promote your own company, as it’s been found that 82% of customers trust a company when their senior management members are active on social media.
Things to keep in mind when building your personal brand
Research has found that 70% of employers use social networking sites to research their prospective employees before they hire them. However, the line between professional and personal can be blurred and might affect your chances of employment if you publish something that might be damaging to your reputation.
It’s also important to consider that you’re not just your own personal brand but you’re also an extension of the organisation you work for too. Therefore, it’s important to note that any content you post could jeopardise your chances of landing the role you want, but the role you are in currently.
What to do with your personal branding
- Develop your personal brand on LinkedIn. If you don’t have an account currently, now is the time to create one. It’s a great way to showcase your work experience and your skills. Your content should be relevant and appropriate for the industry you are in. Update regularly and connect with people to increase your engagement and knowledge in your field.
- Connect and network with peers in the life sciences industry. This is a great opportunity to build relationships with employees from brands you would love to work with. Start conversations with them to get a better understanding of the company and what it’s really like to work there. Ask lots of questions and gain some insight into day-to-day activities, plus you’ll feel like you know your colleagues before you’ve even started.
- Engage with content, but don’t just like! A comment can go a long way in building relationships too. Also, by sharing your opinion on posts, you are providing examples to the employer of who you are and some of your beliefs which might resonate with the hiring manager.
- Use social media profiles as research too. They’re a great tool to research potential employers, their company values and stay up to date with them so when you land that interview, you sound well informed and the ideal candidate for the role.
What NOT to do with your personal branding
- Be too opinionated - Employers will often check over your social media channels for any content which could damage their reputation. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
- Post during work hours - This could demonstrate to employers that you are not committed to your role and backfire on you. Even if content is related to your industry, it is highly recommended that this is avoided.
- Be too personal - Whilst you are encouraged to be personable on your social media platforms to grow your personal branding presence, it is recommended that you do not share too much information relating to your personal life.
- Share inappropriate photos - Refrain from sharing photos that could be deemed as unprofessional by any potential employers. If you currently have any photos or videos that could damage your personal brand and your professional image, look to remove them.
- Have no presence on social media - Most employers will be researching you on social media so it would be beneficial for you to have an account that is active and offers a genuine representation of who you are as a person (and as a potential candidate)
How’s your personal brand looking?
There is a lot of value in developing your personal brand on social media and this can be a great way to make yourself stand out from the rest when applying for a job.
Your CV can demonstrate your skills, knowledge, and experience, but employers can’t know from this whether your attitude and mindset aligns with their own. So, by building your personal brand you are developing yourself and thinking forward.
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