The rules are changing in the job market, and just as job seekers need to be aware, career counselors should always be looking out for the latest trends. An effective career counselor brand possesses professional savvy and deep industry insights, to help job seekers navigate the ever-changing job market.
Today, job seekers are more independent, looking first for answers from the voices of the internet. It’s no longer common for someone to phone a career counselor. Instead, some of the most complicated career management questions are directed at search engines. This is the space counselors should focus on -- the go-to resource where today’s job seekers seek career guidance.
To reach this audience of self-sufficient job seekers, modern career counselors need to become online thought leaders, using a blog and social media to build a personal brand.
Here are some hacks for how to establish your personal brand as a career counselor, the modern way:
Create a space where you dish out career advice on a regular basis. Look at what other career advice blogs are writing about, and address questions you notice are left unanswered in your blog. Find out what job seekers are asking by searching Quora, and base blog posts on answering their questions.
You can even allow students you work with to contribute to your professional blog either through writing or quotes. This will strengthen your relationship with your audience by making you accessible and relatable.
Share your words of wisdom in other spaces, too. Guest writing for online publications can help you establish more credibility and exposure as a thought leader. In some guest articles, you can link to your blog or website to generate more traffic.
Check groups on LinkedIn or Twitter for posted guest blogging opportunities. Ask existing blogs that cover relevant topics if you can contribute. Ask your colleagues, friends, or online connections if you can contribute to their blogs. Also, online publications like The Huffington Post, Forbes, and Daily Muse allow contributing writers to submit posts, just check the posting guidelines first.
2. Get On Social Media
With so many social media channels out there, you won’t have time to develop and maintain a presence on all of them, so choose a few and work them well.
First, generate awareness of your brand by following others who show interest in your industry. Follow your target audience -- job seekers, HR professionals, or whomever you think would benefit from the information you post. Also, follow your competition and learn from the techniques they use to engage their audience.
Start conversations by commenting on content of those you follow. Share content related to industry topics with timely, popular information. Ask questions, and encourage others to share their opinions.
3. Share Your Content Effectively
If you’re blogging, you have a bunch of content to share on your Facebook and Twitter to grow a following. Research current social media trends, to learn how to make maximum impact with minimal effort. Recently, Buzzsumo posted some great social media hacks you can use to garner more traffic to your blog or website.
Buzzsumo found adding images to Facebook posts boosts engagement 2.3 times. This seems to follow suit, considering back in 2013, the social media experts at Buffer found adding images to your tweets generates 150 percent more engagement than text only tweets.
Not all social media tools are created equal, and using some will prove a better ROI than others for career counselors, specifically. For instance, social media expert Dan Zarrella of HubSpot found tweets using Instagram links are 42 percent less likely to be retweeted, and tweets with Facebook image links were 47 percent less likely to be retweeted. However, tweets using Twitpic links are 64 percent more likely to be retweeted.
The lesson? Twitter is best used as a self-contained channel, where content isn’t being fed through other social media channels. Use images, and craft your tweets in Twitter. Make the content on your blog sharable, too, by including a click to tweet plugin.
In many ways, career counselors today have an advantage. Online blogs and social media make it easy for anyone to become a thought leader, regardless of professional status. As a professional career counselor, you have the credibility and experience to give job seekers the advice they need. So build a network to reach them, and you can help land their dream job faster.
What are some other ways you can build your personal brand online as a career counselor? Comment below!
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.