So You Think You Can Build Your Recruiter Brand

Want to build your personal brand as a rock star recruiter? Before you start, a good question to ask yourself is, “Why?” What do you hope to achieve? Do you want to land new clients, find a better job, or advance your recruiting career? Whatever your reason, know that building and balancing your personal recruiter brand takes time, energy, and passion. It’s a long-term commitment, not a short-term campaign.

Be Good at What You Do

Abraham Lincoln once said “Whatever you are, be a good one.” (That happens to be one of my favorite quotes.) Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned pro, strive first to be a good recruiter. Better yet, focus your abilities on being a great one. Ensure a positive candidate experience, partner with hiring managers, work smart and hard, and never stop learning.

When you do good work, people notice. But if the right people don’t notice–make a little noise! Stand up. Speak out. Here are three key ways to build your personal brand and emerge from the crowd:

  1. Write down your thoughts and share them,
  2. Network internally and externally, and/or
  3. Give back to the HR/recruiting/job seeker community.

The best thing that I did to build my personal brand was blogging. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Fifteen years ago, I started my recruiting career at a staffing agency. Though it wasn’t until two years ago–when I started writing for Blogging4Jobs–that my professional world changed.

But, what if you don’t like to write?

Participate in the Community

Having a voice, paying it forward, and helping someone that perhaps you’ve never met—these simple acts can be rewarding on so many levels. Within your local area, there may be ways for you to participate in the conversation, share your ideas, and give back. You could:

  1. Participate in a SHRM chapter and take on a new leadership role.
  2. Join a local recruiter networking group and make new connections.
  3. Reach out to your county’s workforce development program and coach job seekers.
  4. Volunteer at a university career center and help soon-to-be graduates.
  5. Lead interviewing or resume writing workshops.
  6. Serve on the board or your alumni association.

Or, look within your own company. Is there a more junior-level recruiter that you could mentor? Or, is there someone whom you admire who is willing to mentor you? Sometimes we open our own doors, but other times, someone is there to open one for us.

Balance Your Work-Life Brand

Let’s assume it’s a year in the future and you’re now faced with the challenge of balancing your personal brand with that of your company. I wish that I could tell you the secret sauce to striking a healthy balance, but I can’t. Balancing the two takes judgment, learning from others in similar situations, and figuring out what works best for you. However, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Strive to include personal branding activities into your daily routine.
  • Use technology to your advantage—schedule tweets and automate content sharing where appropriate.
  • Be authentic and professional in both places—you are an extension of your corporate brand.

Become a Part of Who You Are

Years ago,  a friend of mine said to me, “Everyone needs to know a good lawyer, a good accountant, and a good recruiter.” Thankfully, I’ve never needed a good lawyer, but I have surrounded myself with some of the best recruiters. And, I’ve learned this: it takes time, interest, and commitment to build your credibility–and personal brand–inside and outside of your organization. And, if you love what you do, it won’t feel like work.

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Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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