In today’s challenging and competitive job market, personal branding has become an important way for individuals to get the edge over other candidates when searching for a job. For executive assistants (EA), personal assistants (PA) and other admin professionals – many of whom are used to working behind the scenes – the idea of personal branding might seem like a daunting one.
However, having a strong personal brand will help you clarify your career goals and make you stand out in the job market, making you more compelling to be considered for the role.
Here are five practical tips to help you create and maintain your personal brand.
1. A professional headshot
One of the simplest and effective ways to instantly upgrade your online profiles is to update your photo with a new and professional headshot. It doesn’t necessarily have to be taken by a paid photographer – if you have a friend who’s handy with a camera and a well-lit room, you can achieve a great, professional look that you can use on your LinkedIn and any other professional profile you might need. Also, by uploading a current photo, it will reflect who you are today and what your potential is – an old photo may not signify or give the impression of your years of experience.
2. Add a compelling professional headline
A lot of your personal branding is about optimising and maintaining your LinkedIn profile – as well as other professional profiles you may have. That means you should create a compelling professional headline, which might be your current title for example, Executive Assistant to the CEO of Amazon AU, or it might be a broader statement about your specific skills and career focus: Creating better workplaces through effective administration.
3. Emphasise your expertise
What are you actually known for or what do you want to be known for? When describing what you do – whether it’s your summary on LinkedIn, in a cover letter or introducing yourself at a networking event or interview, avoid generic descriptions and instead, really zero in on the things that make you unique. Spend some time figuring out why your combination of technical skills, industry knowledge and soft skills makes you marketable to employers. And make sure this is infused into everything you do.
4. Ensure you are consistent
Consistency is the key to all good branding. Once you’ve got your new headshot, make sure it’s on all your public-facing and work-related profiles. Ensure that you’ve got the same work history on your LinkedIn profile as you do on your CV. Think about the small details – like whether you go by your full name or a nickname. These are all the things that will help people to remember you.
5. Build a public persona
If you really want to build your brand, work at becoming an influencer in the EA field. This might mean being active at networking events – or even organising them – or becoming an industry blogger (for instance via LinkedIn posts or for an industry publication), a podcaster, or media contributor. It will take a lot of work but it shows potential employees your knowledge and passion for your area, and help you market yourself to a much broader network.
There are many ways to create a personal brand for yourself – the key areas above are just a few. It’s all about evaluating your visibility from an outsider’s perspective and making it easier for others to find, recognise, and remember you.
Want to learn more about being the best EA you can be? Visit our advice section here.
In summary, to create and maintain a strong, distinctive personal brand as an EA:
Update your social profiles with a new, professional headshot
Super-charge your professional headline on LinkedIn
Figure out what makes you unique in the job market and really emphasise those skills
Ensure your presentation of yourself is consistent
Build a public profile to make yourself more visible