Take Away: 

Tailor your personal branding strategy to the industry in which you work. You can’t ignore reality of today’s hyper-competitive job market.

By John G. Self


Question:  Several of my friends have talked about hiring a career coach to guide their careers and to prepare them for their next step up.   That seems like such overkill.  If you are doing a good job and you have a good reputation, shouldn’t that be enough?  We are professionals in a conservative industry not wannabe internet social media influencers.   It feels like self brand promotion diminishes, not enhances my brand.  

Answer:  Your car needs painting.  You want it to look nice but you are not going to paint it chartreuse, a glow-in-the-dark flashy color composed of yellow and green.  No, if you are a low-key personality working in a conservative industry, you will likely select a more subdued color.  Chartreuse is not even on your radar screen because the quality and the look of your “ride” helps defines who you are.

What does the color of your car have to do with social media branding?  Given the dramatic changes in the talent acquisition market, if you are not on LinkedIn you will, in no time at all, become invisible to a large swath of the talent acquisition corporate recruiters.  Ninety-three percent of these recruiters regularly use LinkedIn to identify potential candidates.  You do not want to build a P. T. Barnum-style brand.  This will not play well in a conservative industry nor with their recruiters, but you most assuredly cannot go to the other extreme, avoiding social media just because some people in other, less conservative industries use flashier, more garnish colors to define who they are.