Competition for jobs in the construction industry is fierce and if you want to get ahead you need more than just a well-crafted CV and word-perfect covering letter. Those things are still important but increasingly, job hunters are creating their own personal brand to ensure they set themselves apart from other candidates.

The idea of a personal brand is relatively new and may not be one you are familiar with, but it is something construction professionals are beginning to tap into in order to differentiate themselves in the job market. Just as companies have a brand which identifies them and their ethos, job seekers are now applying those same principles to themselves when marketing their knowledge and skills to employers.

Your personal brand will include always centre around your CV but it will also encompass your social media profiles, LinkedIn page, any articles you have written and even a personal website. With 90% of recruiters visiting a candidate’s social network profile as part of the screening process and 69% admitting they rejected someone based on what they saw or read, its importance cannot be underestimated. So, if you’re looking to make a step up in the construction sector, we’ve outlined some essential personal branding tips for you to consider.

Utilise the power of your testimonials.

Recommendations are extremely powerful in the construction sector and will always remain a fantastic way to help you stand out from the crowd. You can be superbly qualified for a role but recommendations from senior colleagues or fellow site workers will give you a unique edge and increase your chances of landing your dream role.

Employers want to see that you possess not just the expertise in a particular sector, but that you can enforce this with case studies, results and insights from previous employers. You should concentrate on building a database of testimonials from a cross-section of senior colleagues and continue to build upon it as your career progresses. If you’re a craftsman or tradesman, you may think your work speaks for itself and no doubt it does to an extent, but you will stand a much greater chance of landing future jobs by getting written recommendations.

You might also want to consider gathering photos or even videos of your work (time-lapse videos can work brilliantly for showcasing a project from start to finish) to accompany your testimonials too. These will help you flesh your recommendations and will always look great on a personal website.

Our recruiters in the construction, property and engineering sectors outline their number one personal branding tip in the clip below:

Build an online portfolio or LinkedIn profile.

If you’re going to gather testimonials from employers, you’ll want to ensure they are published in the right place. Just 7% of job seekers have a personal website yet 56% of hiring managers say they are more impressed by websites than any other personal branding tool. It's therefore important to consider using an online publishing platform to give employers an insight into your best work which is visually appealing and easy to reference.

In the absence of a personal website, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date with all your qualifications and experience. It is also a great platform on which to showcase your past projects, gather testimonials and blog about industry trends and news using the LinkedIn Pulse platform.

Watch our five-minute guide to the personal branding fundamentals and ensure you’re marketing yourself to employers in the right way.

Expand your network and knowledge of your sector.

Whilst online networking is intrinsically linked to successful personal branding, the importance of networking offline cannot be underestimated. It may not be a pressing priority for most construction professionals, but networking can be as simple as spending more time with your colleagues or introducing yourself to those who work in different teams. However, if you really want to expand your networks, joining trade boards, schemes and associations which are relevant to your field will give you plenty of opportunities to connect with new people outside of your company and within other related sectors.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) and the Build UK all offer a wealth of advice and access to various industry events where you can learn about latest trends and best practice and meet many likeminded construction professionals in the process. Many of these organisations also hold various training courses which will help you develop your professional experience too so do look out for these valuable opportunities throughout the calendar year.