Although you may think it just comes down to your experiences and skills going into a job search, it’s important to remember that your personal image and how you carry yourself is just as important to landing the kind of position you desire. As equally as prospective employers seek out candidates that “fit the culture” of their company, it should be in your interest to maintain your brand for a better chance of landing the gig.
To give yourself the best odds of crushing the job hunt, here are a few tips on how to give yourself that extra boost.
Decide on Your Brand.
Even though it may seem obvious, many have a hard time figuring out a way to brand themselves. A great place to start is figuring out what kind of job you want to match your image to. Different industries and different communities have their own looks, behavioral patterns, and mannerisms, so knowing ahead of time what you’re looking for can make it easier for you to start your transformation or initial branding process.
For example, people looking to pursue a job in business or finance might have different experiences than someone interested in landing a career in music or sports. Between differences in jargon, etiquette, and even appearance, it might be better for business-interested candidates to be more focused on behavioral patterns, while sports people focus on athlete stats, and artists may focus on mastering a sound. Every professional niche has its own uniqueness about it, so deciding on what to pursue and why you want to pursue it will be key to getting you started in the right direction.
Start with your physical appearance.
Once you decide what job you’re after, the first place to start is mastering your physical appearance so you can fit seamlessly into the field you’re trying to enter. For those looking to enter industries like business, finance, and even politics, a neat and tidy appearance has come to be expected in order to prove credibility and professionalism. For men, this includes trimming your hair, taking care of your personal hygiene, and controlling your facial hair. Acquire a quality razor and shave kit that allows for a clean shave. Iron your clothes and match your socks. For women, similarly, it’s important to keep it professional. Clothing choices can say a lot about personality along with hairstyles, so keeping a tidy look can impress employers and help them take you seriously as a candidate.
For people looking to fit into more abstract job communities like technology, art, or media, it might be better to brand your physical appearance in a more laid back way. Between more casual clothing and a laid-back attitude, these kinds of traits are more fitting to this category of job than say, business.
There’s no doubt that each job will be different and it’s going to be important to adjust your physical appearance for each opportunity. Just by getting familiar with how you should exist within that community and doing your best to match it.
Remember your audience.
As you try to match yourself to the job you want, it’s equally as important to keep prospective employers in mind as they sift through candidates they think can fit the mold that already exists at their company. Particularly when it comes to job interviews for different positions, it’s key to remember that every company is unique and are looking for something that stands out in each person they hire.
A great way to keep your audience in mind is to interact and get to know them so you can further your career in the process. Connecting online with people who have career paths you want to mimic and asking them questions about how to stand out is a great way to gain insight. Using LinkedIn and Facebook groups are powerful social tools that can help you network and show others that you’re making an effort to learn more about the job, as well as how to make yourself look and fit the part.
Display that in your online presence
With job hunting taking place online nowadays, a great way to make a name for yourself is extending your brand into the online atmosphere. Particularly on social media, getting yourself into those niche communities where people are talking about topics that interest you and establishing yourself as an entity within that space, can significantly improve your credibility.
For example, someone looking to break into the sports media industry should look to embed themselves online and engage with other people in the sports space to expand their knowledge. If you’re “walking the walk,” you should also “talk the talk.”
To summarize, every job, every field, and every company is going to be different. But being able to establish your personal image while also being flexible and adaptable, is a great step for any prospective employee. Through dedication, attention to detail, and a little organization, you should be able to match your image to the job you want with smashing success.