World changes drastically before our own eyes these days, our lives are changing in a way that was absolutely unpredictable even a month or two ago. Who would think about being locked down at home observing social distancing policies while being absolutely uncertain about the future, personal and professional, this spring? But here we are, doing exactly that.
For workers in many industries uncertainty is at the extremely high levels now, and chances are even when the lockdowns are over they won’t be able to return to their workplace. In the US alone, the Fed analyses estimates that around 67 million people might be at a high risk of layoffs.
This means that going into active job search and interviewing process is in the cards for many. How can digital professional branding helps? First of all, it ensures that you will be noticed and gives you the upper hand when in fierce competition for the next position.
Digital in digital professional branding means that everything can be done from the safety of your homes while social distancing! Let’s jump on these opportunities, shall we?
Things to do while social distancing to increase chances of successful employment
1 Upgrade your skill set
Self improvement and professional development is always important, but now it’s becoming a must. MOOC platforms such as Coursera, FutureLearn, Udemy offer courses and certification programs across all industries and for all levels of seniority. According to statistics by Classcentral, there were more than 13,500 courses offered by 50+ leading universities by the end of 2019.
It means that a new degree or certification or a chance to improve one’s skill set and grow an area of expertise has never been so achievable. On the other hand, your rivals are out there as well, mastering new skills — don’t miss an opportunity.
2 Revisit your LinkedIn page
Next logical thing to do after completing yet another online course is updating your LinkedIn page with newly acquired credentials. While still there, look into the Experience, Licences, Publications, Volunteering tabs. Are they all up to date and relevant?
I shared Linkedin profile basics in the blog post that you can find by the link, if you were waiting for some better time to get to it — now is exactly the time. All the social media platforms including LinkedIn now report significant increase in user activity, so your potential new employers are out there as well.
Dive into LinkedIn statistics too: where are your searchers and people interacting with your content live, work, and what do they do. That will give you ideas for improvements of your reach and messaging.
3 Master new formats
More people hanging out on social media mean a lot of content and a lot of noise as well. How to stand out from the crowd? Consider adding new formats to the scope!
Is your work highly visual? That’s a good news actually, as photo and video content always generate better audience engagement, so share as much of your work as you can to establish a good online presence. See for yourself:
- According to Business.Twitter, tweets with video see 10x more engagement than those without
- According to LinkedIn statistics by Hootsuite, its users are 20x more likely to share a video than any other type of post
- According to Mention, video is the best performing content on Instagram
At the same time, do not forget about the power of texts if you are writing for your professional blog or personal website as well. Support visuals with texts (transcripts, descriptions) on your website and / or blog. That will give your online property better chances to rank high on Google.
4 Take networking to a new level
Public events, in-person interactions, and even sometimes even going out are strictly banned almost all over the world during the COVID-19 lockdown. Thanks to technology, we still have access to networking. It’s being reported that usage of online conferencing tools grew several times in March-April 2020, and Zoom alone increased its active daily users base to 200 million, up from 10 million in December 2019.
People are trying to unplug and wind down, stay connected and grow their networks while social distancing (Personally, this week I had a chance to attend Japanese speaking club back in Kyiv which I could not attend for years after moving to Toronto because they moved their gatherings online, and I have events scheduled with marketing professionals in the US and Canada and friends meetups from all over the world, all without leaving home at all!)
Research networking events happening online in your own organization, in your area, in your industry. Try to make at least one new connection daily, revive old “weak” ties with those you didn’t communicate with for years, reach out and offer help where you see it’s needed. Networking is a key to success on so many levels, personal and professional!
5 Track your digital brand online
Do you want to stay atop of the most recent mentions of your name online? You don’t have to google yourself daily. Create Google alert to get notified of your name’s digital appearances.
Don’t forget to use quotation marks (“Firstname Lastname”) to get more relevant results. You can also filter out some namesakes by using minus (-) with keywords, related to their industry or company.
These five things are easy to do these days while social distancing under the quarantine restrictions many countries impose on their citizens to battle the coronavirus pandemic. But probably the most important thing for all of us is to stay calm, supportive, and believe in the better future. We are all in this together, and we will make it through. I wish you all health and safety. Take care.