Complimenting Your Course With A Professional Footprint And Branding
By James Lynch | December 17, 2021
There are a vast number of reasons as to why you might be taking on further education. Such reasons may include developing a skill set for a career or industry change, developing your existing skill set to improve your range of competences in your current role, in pursuit of a promotion or in some cases simply for the joy of learning. Whatever your reason for taking on further education, particularly if it is aligned with your professional aspirations, establishing a professional brand and footprint is of critical importance in today's environment.
Whilst taking on further study will develop your skills, knowledge, and competencies it is important to recognise the value of your professional footprint and branding. Some of the advantages of developing your professional brand (which can be done at the same time as completing your qualification) include developing and quite possibly strengthening professional relationships, developing your presentation skills both written and verbal and in some cases assisting you in getting that dream job or promotion all whilst becoming recognised as thought leader within your industry.
One of the great things about establishing a professional brand today is that there are a number of means that you can do this with little to no cost. The most prominent platform used by professionals today is LinkedIn. This platform not only allows you to detail past achievements, previous work experience and qualifications that you have completed, it also allows you to publish posts, articles and other forms of media that are relevant to your industry of choice. Furthermore, it also provides an avenue for you to develop your professional network which is exceptionally important in today's professional environment.
So, if you are currently studying and haven’t yet completed or recently updated your LinkedIn profile here are few key things that you can check to ensure that your professional brand is out there.
1. First impressions. One of the first things that you want to do is ensure that you have a suitable professional photo on your profile. Take particular note of the term suitable as this will vary depending on what industry you are in and whilst you are reviewing your profile photo also be sure you have uploaded an appropriate banner image that will assist viewers in determining what your professional brand is all about.
2. Be Seen.That is to say, check the settings in your profile and ensure that you can be readily found and are viewable by your intended audience – including recruiters!
3. Have a clear objective.Develop and publish your professional statement and when doing so ensuring that it includes keywords that are particulary relevant to the industry you are currently working in or intending on working in in the future.
4. Get Engaged. It may be all good and well to have the best profile on LinkedIn, however it is important to create a reason for people to come and view it. By becoming engaged in the community through publishing posts of your own, commenting on other posts and joining groups relevant to your industry you will ultimately improve your chances of getting noticed.
Please note that these are just a few of the strategies that you can employ to improve your professional footprint and branding using a platform such as LinkedIn. There are many more out there and with a quick search on either Google or YouTube You will be in a position to identify even more tools that you can employ to assist you in this area of growing importance.