6 Tips to build an effective Online Brand

Social Media for me has shaped, is shaping and will continue to shape my career. I was fortunate enough to realise the potential of social media at the very outset and this has led me to build a strong foundation for my future career.

Post-graduation, the majority of my peers followed the traditional route to employment; prepare a resume & cover letter, apply online and hope to get an offer. However, for some, they were faced with endless rejection. I fell into this category; for me, Monday mornings were waking up to

“Dear Mr Visavadia… after careful consideration, we regret to inform you that you have not been shortlisted for the above-mentioned role” …. Blah blah blah BLAH.

Poor market conditions coupled with the basic lack of awareness of the professional world left me unemployed and unhappy for a good part of a year. There was little or no direction to a route into employment once the rejection letters flooded in.

Here is what I did... and let me break it down for you.

Don’t think like an employee, this was a fundamental flaw in my initial approach! I almost put myself into the employer’s shoes. What does an employer look for when hiring a young professional? I was tired of rejection, how could I be invincible in my approach?

These are 6 key areas I focused on when I started to build my professional online brand:

  1. Relevant qualifications (non-cognate vs. cognate)
  2. Work experience (Transferable skills)
  3. Value add (how will I make a difference)
  4. Capability (how can I prove it)
  5. Personality (through the presentation of resume & cover letter)
  6. The BRAND (I am more than just a graduate with a 2:1)

"For me I wanted my brand to be associated with the BEST in the industry".

I can’t stress how vital planning is when building a successful personal brand. I conducted hours, days and weeks worth of research before embarking on my journey. Be strategic in your approach (Refer to my previous article – The Lost Surveyor! Finding a job).

I was classified as a non-cognate graduate; someone who did not hold an RICS accredited degree. I enrolled myself onto a distance-learning course at The College of Estate Management (CEM), the course being accredited by Reading University a prestigious and recognized institute within the industry. Any association with these institutions gets you instant recognition amongst those within the profession. They have a great support network and are highly regarded amongst top tier employers; globally.Whilst enrolled at CEM, I cultivated relationships online to secure short term work experience positions at your most prestigious built environment organisations; Savills, Knight Frank, Allsop, Grainger PLC and EC Harris. I was also fortunate enough to secure a position on the CBRE summer placement programme.To ensure I created longstanding relationships with the above-mentioned employers, I connected with those I had worked with on LinkedIn, often requesting a short testimonial to support the work I had completed during my placement. This initiated the first steps in building a healthy network and the growth of my personal brand.Following the above, I continued to grow my online profile by collaborating with key influencers within the market including RICS Modus Magazine, Property Week, Estate Gazette and Target jobs. This allowed my brand to evolve outside of social media and into a powerful, influential global brand.It has taken me a good part of 5 years to build my brand to what it is today. Along the way, I have founded one of the largest advice focused groups for buddying surveying professionals, travelled the world, influenced policymakers, contributed to exciting industry projects and built a strong foundation for a successful career within the built environment.

"GenY is coined the ‘tech-savvy’ generation, so why don’t YOU utilise your skills, knowledge and interests to drive your career? You never know… your online personal brand could help connect you to bigger and better opportunities, opening doors to some of the best places in this world"