Whether you are looking for a new job or are content with where you are but have different plans for the future, there are always ways to brand yourself. Here are ways to stay relevant and stand out in today’s competitive job market.

1. Know yourself and your passions. Figure out what makes you happy at work and/or outside of work and integrate more of that into your life. And don’t be afraid to be yourself: this will not only make you happier, but will also allow for more opportunities. Recruiters are looking for happy, accomplished people who also have interests outside of work.

2. Frequently update LinkedIn and social media. Even though you may be content with your job, you’re probably learning new skills and developing interests along the way. Recruiters are always scouting Linkedin for potential hires, so you should update your profile often. The same goes for social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogging, etc. These social media profiles shed light on who you are and could be considered the actual “first impression.” Staying relevant on both social media and Linkedin will be important for you to connect with important influencers.

3. Create a portfolio of work. This isn’t just for designers or artists. You can be creative and upload snapshots of documents, certificates or awards, and/or inspirational imagery or quotes. Having a portfolio of work is not only professional, but automatically makes you stand out. First impressions are made almost instantly and usually have more power if they’re visual. Portfolios will boost your credibility and should be updated frequently. Some free portfolio sites are: https://crevado.com, https://carbonmade.com, and http://www.portfoliobox.net.

4. Get a mentor. Whether you are dedicated to a specific field because you found your calling or you want to try a different industry, talk to someone already in that industry. Reach out to your alumni network and get in touch with someone who can give you some advice. Find someone whom you admire and can take you under their wing. People love talking about themselves, and will most likely be willing to speak with you. Always do research before you talk to them, and always show appreciation for their time and advice.

5. Attend networking events or panels. Connecting to people is a skill. Business is mainly about relationships, and building those relationships has tremendous value. Potential business partners, new employers/employees, and even friends have come out of networking events. You never know who you’ll meet (or who is connected to whom), and you should always be prepared. Get those business cards ready.

Are there any particular methods you’re working on to brand yourself? Share your experiences with us below, or tweet us at: @FirebrandGrp!