Your resume. You stress over making it perfect, sweat every little detail – from the wording, to the layout, all the way down to your “Special Skills.” It’s your ticket to your dream job and you know it needs to be good.
But hold on – your resume might not be the be-all-end all of potential employer wooing anymore. We heard it over and over again at IFBCon – The Blog is the New Resume.
It makes sense when you think about it – when you are applying for a job in the digital world, your new boss is going to want to know what your digital life looks like. So how do you stand out from the crowed of up-and-coming fashion bloggers scrambling for an open position?
It’s not as scary as it sounds, you don’t need billboards or even crazy design skills – let’s start small. Choose a color scheme you love and few fonts you can’t get enough of and use them across the board; on your blog posts, your Twitter profile, business cards, letterhead, even your traditional resume (the list goes on and on!) That wasn’t hard, right?
The next step is just as easy: streamline your profile pictures. You want your Google + page, Linkedin profile, Twitter profile, Pinterest account etc. to all have the same little square image so that people who don’t really know you still know they are looking at the same person across all your digital channels. When your future employer see this they’ll see your attention to detail, dedication to your craft, and above all your understanding of the digital space. It’s simple, and yet very, very effective.
For example, when I applied for the job here at IFB I sent in my resume and cover letter – both of which linked to my web page. The font on my web page matches the font on my resume and I use the same background image across all my spaces (my blog, Tumblr, Twitter, even my Facebook – which might be a little over the top, I admit…)
The next thing to keep in mind when building your digital presence – you user names. This is an area in which I am seriously lacking. In some places I’m Crissie Fuller, in others Fuller.Cris and sometimes just the name of my blog, Chicasaurus-Rex. Ideally you want to have the same name across all platforms, whether you choose your name or the name of your blog is really up to you. However, Erica Domesek of PS – I Made This suggested using your blog name during IFBcon (and really, if you want to see great branding, check out her blog/twitter/book/etc!) But whichever you choose keep it consistent. And don’t forget: you want to have exactly the same handle on Twitter and Instagram (if you can)!
Besides just the look of your brand – you want your voice to be consistent as well. You should always sound like you. It’s fine (good even!) if you are slightly more formal on LinkedIn and in cover letters – but you should never use big words and fancy phrases just to sound smart; your employer (and especially one hiring in the digital space) wants to hear your voice, not some regurgitated version of “the ideal cover letter” you found on google.
To Summarize: 4 Easy Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand
1. Use uniform fonts and colors for all your online and offline collateral (blog, twitter, business cards etc.)
2. Streamline your profile pictures. Use the same one for all your online accounts.
3. Make sure your user names all match!
4. Find your voice and always write in it – alter the tone to fit the audience that you are speaking to, but be sure you always sound like you!
Do you have any experience with creating a personal brand? Tell us about it in the comments!
[top image via BlackBirdTees]