You know how when your friend wants to introduce you to someone you immediately badger them with questions about the person, and maybe even reach for the internet to do some stalking?
Well, hiring managers are just like you (crazy, right?)—they want to get a good sense of who you are before actually meeting you. And a lot of the time, it takes more than just a cover letter and resume to make yourself stand out from the pack.
That’s why we asked eight successful entrepreneurs from YEC for tips on how you can make a great impression on any hiring manager even before you enter the interview.
1. Consider Social Media Your Resume
Nowadays, the interview doesn’t start when you sit down. Many hiring managers skim through social media platforms to get an idea of what you’re like before they interview you. Develop a consistent online presence that represents you, your experience, and your ambitions—not just on professional platforms like LinkedIn, but across the board on your other profiles as well.
2. Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry
Whether it’s speaking at conferences in your field, building and scaling a Facebook group, writing content in industry publications, or organizing meetups, add value to the people in your industry. This will showcase you as a thought leader in your area of expertise and make you stand out for being committed to the education of others in the same industry.
3. Get Referrals
Try to acquire as many referrals as possible, whether on LinkedIn or your personal website. Try to make the referrals diverse, from past jobs to volunteer opportunities to old professors. Seeing that you’re a rock star in all aspects of your life, not just at your 9-to-5, will be attractive to departments who are looking for well-rounded, multi-purpose, hit-the-ground-running type players.
4. Leave a Large Online Footprint
Make it easy for potential employers to find your past work and get to know you. Show me who you are and what you bring to the table. This might mean making your Instagram and other social channels public and keeping profiles such as LinkedIn consistently updated and accurate. I should be able to form a very good idea of who you are and what you’ve done professionally before we even talk on the phone.
5. Learn New Skills
When I’m hiring, I often look for evidence that the individual is proactive about learning new things and expanding their knowledge base. There’s a huge variety of free, high-quality online educational resources available, and it impresses me if a prospective employee is making the effort to take their capabilities to the next level.
6. Create a Website
The single most important thing you can do to build your personal brand is to create a home for it. While keeping your LinkedIn profile current is important, a website is a piece of owned content that you can control. Having a website demonstrates initiative, professionalism, and work ethic. It can also serve as a home for your portfolio or future attempts for personal brand building.
7. Publish on LinkedIn Pulse
Publishing is a great and easy way to get your personal brand out there and share your knowledge and values to a wide audience who will get to know your opinions. Share the article across multiple platforms to spread it faster and make it more readily available for employers.
8. Be Consistent
Stay consistent with your mission and branding. You don’t see companies like Coca-Cola that have a variety of branding, so you shouldn’t either when it comes to your personal brand. Have a consistent headshot, style, and voice across all channels. This makes it easier for people to remember who you are and what you do.