Do you know how to make your personal brand work for you professionally? During May’s edition of #HRNotes tweet chat, ASHHRA and guest contributor JR Kuhns focused on a prevailing theme: How does having (or not having) a personal brand affect my role as a healthcare human resources professional?
If we’re being honest, the term “personal brand” is simply a modern buzzword for “reputation.” It’s how you present yourself to others and in turn, how they choose to perceive you.
Except, your personal brand encompasses much more than “reputation” implies. Your personal brand doesn’t just live in real time with you, like an in-person first impression you make. It’s there, too, but it also exists online, permanently archived for the world to access. “Personal brand” is an evolution of “reputation” in response to the digital revolution.
Why be concerned with your personal brand from a professional standpoint? A few reasons:
- Candidates are just as concerned with who they’ll be working with as they are with the reputation of the organization. When you engage with candidates, what kind of impression are you given them?
- Rather than focusing on who you know, focusing on who knows you can help you be one of the first people in mind when a new role becomes available. The best way to become well known is to put your brand out there and accessible to others.
- When there’s a promotion up for grabs, who is leadership going to consider first? – the person who quietly did his/her job (even if done very well) or the person who not only fulfilled his/her job requirements but also went beyond expectation to share expertise with the team and others?
Having a personal brand and a great online presence is modern day survival of the fittest. You have to have a strong personal brand in order to succeed. But how does one go about having a strong personal brand? Here are some great takeaways from #HRNotes to help you get started.
Being on social media isn’t enough. You have to be engaged on social media. Begin by doing an audit of every social channel you’re on. For healthcare HR, the necessities are Twitter and LinkedIn. When you’re auditing your profiles, ask yourself the following questions as if you’re looking at someone else’s profile:
- Do I have a sense of what this person does?
- Do I have a sense of what this person values?
- Would I gain anything from following this person?
You should answer yes to all of these questions. If not, polish your social media profiles until you do. Keep sharing content you find relevant and helpful. Consider writing your very own!
Authenticity is the cornerstone of any great personal brand. Your goal should be to make the story you tell your own. It can be easy to fall victim to the idea that your personal brand exists as a means to impress those around you; however, if you really want to impress, be yourself. As cliché as it sounds, being genuine should be the first focus of your personal branding mission.
Giving advice on how to identify your authentic self is a bit too esoteric for this article; so instead, here’s what authentic people don’t do on social media.
If authenticity is your mission, then being a valuable resource to others is your angle. You have unique perspectives, insights, and experiences that others may likely find valuable. What do you have to share with the world?
If you’re unsure where to start, blogging about your insights is a great first step. Try a site like medium.com where you can easily post, share, and read content. If you’re already active online, try taking it to the next level with speaking engagements or webinars.
Your personal and professional brands are not mutually exclusive of each other, and this is especially important for those who are engaging with job candidates (like healthcare human resource professionals). Now more than ever, candidates not only research the reputation of the company with which they’re interviewing, but also the character of those with whom they’ll be working.
When you audit your social profiles or even Google yourself, do you come across as the kind of person you would want to work with? The best and brightest candidates want to work not only with the best companies around, but with the best people, too.
Personal branding isn’t a set it and forget it type of endeavor. Just because you've set up your social media profiles doesn’t mean the work is over. Lotus Yon said it best: your personal brand is something you live every day.
If you don’t have time to create your own content on a consistent basis, try curating it from relevant and trusted sources that are sharing a message similar to your own. Be consistent about responding to direct messages, blog comments, and follow requests. Prove to the world that there is a real life human being with the best intentions behind every one of your personal brand outlets!
Join the #HRNotes conversation with ASHHRA the first Thursday of every month, 1:30pm EST, and follow these thought leaders for great #healthcareHR insights.