Developing a Digital Brand

How can you stand out in today’s crowded job market? According to one recruitment expert, you’ll need to create your own unique digital brand.

Although there signs of economic recovery on the horizon, no one can argue with the fact that the current job market is still a tough place for jobseekers. With hordes of candidates competing for every job opening, it’s important for jobseekers to devise ways to stand out from the rest of the field.

But how do you differentiate yourself from the scores of job hunters who have similar qualifications and work experience?

“It used to be that executives could network their way onto the CEO’s schedule, maybe on the golf course or a chance meeting at lunch or a ball game,” says Colleen Aylward, a recruitment strategy expert and author of, From Bedlam to Boardroom: How to Get a Derailed Executive Career Back on Track! (

”It’s now up to you to gather your data, polish it up and position it where people will find you — and that’s one of the biggest shocks in the executive job seeker’s world right now.”

According to Aylward, 40- and 50-something jobseekers eager to compete for top-tier executive positions need to become an authority on-line and create a virtual network of business connections so they can easily be found. In essence, they need to begin the hard work of crafting a personal digital brand.

Personal digital branding begins by creating an active presence on social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and possibly even a personal website. After embracing these strategies, Aylward offers several additional tips to help jobseekers develop their brand online:

  • Use specific examples to highlight your strengths.

    It’s the jobseeker’s responsibility – not the interviewer’s – to clearly identify professional strengths. Clever cover letters no longer open doors. Instead, the way to get your foot in the door is through strong resumes and online profiles jam-packed with specific accomplishments.

  • Forget about external executive recruiters.

    External executive recruiters aren’t nearly as effective as the internal corporate recruiters who are searching for you online. You can help internal recruiters by researching and locating jobs, and actively initiating conversations with prospective employers and hiring managers online.

  • It’s not about you, it’s about the employer.

    There is no room in today’s marketplace for candidates who believe that interviewing for a job is all about them. These days, it’s about what you can do for the company – and that means defining the specific strengths you can offer to solve their business problems. Be prepared to talk about how you have kept up with technology, industry changes and how the economy has affected them.


“Embrace change,” Aylward says. “You are still very valuable and worth money for a long time, but you need to make yourself visible — and viable — to those who need your expertise.”

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