Making a career move? You might be inclined to browse online ads, look into employers and network with acquaintances for your job search, but what if the first thing to consider isn’t any of these steps? What if you began by…looking in the mirror?

OK, maybe not literally looking at your physical appearance but your personal brand. Companies do their best to present themselves in a flattering light by enhancing their employer brand. It gets them the best candidates and workers. The converse is true — job seekers give themselves the best chance to land that ideal position if they just spent a little time jazzing up their personal brand.

where to begin

Revising your CV or getting a few references won’t be enough (although it doesn’t hurt), but to make headway in your job search, you should begin by maintaining a consistent and positive presence online. If an old classmate can find out about what you’ve been up to, so can prospective bosses.

To best present yourself, regularly update your status or share content on social media, focusing on LinkedIn and Twitter to boost your rankings. Make sure to share the content and postings of others also as this will help you further gain visibility and recognition from your network. 

the importance of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 500 million users as of April 2017, so it’s a great channel for featuring your brand. Make the most of it by asking connections for recommendations, link to work you’ve published or have had a hand in producing and showcase your experience and insights by regularly curating content that is related to your subject matter expertise.

According to Laura Shin, author of Forbes ebook “The Millennial Game Plan: Career And Money Secrets To Succeed In Today's World,” making your profile as “findable and visually appealing” as possible goes a long way. Add profile and cover photos, and make sure industry keywords are embedded in your headline to help employers looking for your skills.

Are you knowledgeable about your field? Then share your opinions through a blog. There are many platforms to self-publish, and it’s a great way to highlight your knowledge, skills and experience. When you additionally invite users to post discussions about work-related issues, it demonstrates your ability to engage peers and dedication to your field, which are key skills employers look for. You can further gain viewers by linking your blog to your LinkedIn profile, keeping everything cohesive. (Want to get more tips on maximizing your LinkedIn presence, Shin offers five easy steps for ecareer success. 

impress with your resumé

When you’ve got your online presence in order, revisit your resumé. If like most people you’ve put off tidying this document, make it a priority. Resumes may seem old fashion, but many hiring managers still start their in their search for candidates.

Mary Eileen Williams, author of “Land the Job You Love,” tells jobseekers to make a concerted effort to get this right. It’s still the single most important document that captures all of your professional life in one place.

Make sure “all of your written materials are eye-catching and pleasing to read,” she explains in the Huffington Post. Simplify the design with “liberal” use of bullets, and make sure to leave plenty of white space on your resumé, cover letters, your online profiles and business cards. Hiring managers spend only six seconds scanning a resumé so highlight the essentials to capture their attention.

As you embark on the search for your next career move, remember that your personal brand is the public perception of bits and pieces of your career, so make sure you give yourself a once-over to come across as the talent employers seek.

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