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Job seekers in every industry can benefit by establishing a personal brand, a kind of hook or angle that sets them apart and makes their credentials easier to remember. But in the IT field, this can be especially helpful, and if you’re a candidate in this industry, your ability to get noticed may be the only thing standing between unemployment and a job you love. Here are a few personal branding steps you can add to your job search strategy.

1. Create your “value proposition”. Before you submit another application, stop and think for a while about what you do best. Draft a list of your top ten skills, or the most important contributions you have to offer to a given employer. In which of these skill areas are you stronger than most other candidates? Which areas are most in demand for the employers you want? Where these two overlap, you’ll find your value proposition, a short statement that lets employers know what you have to offer than other candidates can’t.

2. Figure out where your part of the industry is headed (or at least develop an informed and educated guess.) Then let your employers know how your skills fit into this future and why they need you onboard when this next evolutionary stage takes place.

3. Finally, make sure you’re online persona is searchable, coherent, and appealing. Your story should be easy to find and interpret, and as stories go, it should be a god one. Start by polishing up your social media profiles, keeping embarrassing personal information out of sight, and showcasing the details of your life that reflect your general passion for IT and your in depth knowledge of you own subject area.

Then work to establish yourself as a thought leader in this area. Make intelligent comments on industry blogs and articles, retweet these articles with your own added insights, and become a recognized presence in your field. Join as many open source communities as you can and make meaningful contributions that bolster your reputation as an expert. When employers investigate your accomplishments, you’ll have communities in the online world as well as the professional world that are willing to vouch for you.

In the meantime, a strong online resume and a professional website will give employers are place to begin their review. For additional help establishing your online brand, reach out the IT staffing experts at Tech Needs.

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