Creating a Personal Brand
Buzzwords aside, your “personal brand” is becoming more and more important as social networking continues to change the way we network and interact. Using social media can be fun, but also extremely useful. Sites like BrandYourself.com and the app Skorr can help you keep track of your online image and influence.
How do you create your job-attracting online image? When you are polishing your profiles, try to answer these questions: What can I offer the employer? Am I likeable? Do I appear motivated?
Here are some things to start with:
- Your profile picture should be a professional-looking headshot that includes a neutral color background. You can be a little more imaginative if you are targeting creative organizations.
- Fill out your profile completely focusing on your accomplishments and including career interests.
- Your social media should deliver a positive message to your employer. Know your message before you post!
Polish Your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Why use Facebook? You may connect with career professionals on a more personal level through referrals from family and friends. Get noticed by employers and get the jump on career opportunities by showing your experience and personality. You can also start your own fan page that drives attention to any blogs, portfolios or other social media profiles you have.
Tips for Facebook:
- Fill out your work and education sections and allow parts of your About Me page to go public.
- Post publicly at least once a week and maintain a positive image.
- Follow pages such as: Your alumni association, professional groups, CareerBuilder, Social Jobs Partnership.
Bonus: Scrub Your Profile!
- Use sites like SimpleWash to clean up past posts.
- Delete inappropriate photos, games or applications as well as messages from friends that won’t look good.
- To more quickly clean up timeline posts in bulk, select the Manage Posts button at the top of your timeline to see your posts in thumbnails. You can then select multiple at once to hide or delete.
- Tone down offensive language, slang and bad grammar.
- Refrain from over-sharing and ranting.
- Limit which apps are sharing on your profile.
- Limit/Open up privacy and security settings strategically.
- Take note of who is tagging or grouping you in their public photos.
The largest and longest running professional network helps you strengthen and extend your network of contacts by exchanging ideas, knowledge and career opportunities with a broad network of professionals.
Why use LinkedIn? Think of LinkedIn as your personal Rolodex of career connections. 94% of recruiters and hiring managers use the network to find new talent and creating a profile does not take long. Join groups, follow company pages, and network with recent grads, alumni and industry professionals to get an insider’s look at what’s happening in your field.
Tips for LinkedIn
- Include a short, easy-to-read personal summary that highlights your accomplishments and details the types of opportunities you are pursuing.
- Fill in your work experience.
- Write a professional headline.
- Use key words that are related to the job you are looking for in your profile.
- Get as many connections as possible.
- Get recommendations.
- Endorse others on their skills and get endorsed by them.
Bonus: Make the most of LinkedIn!
- Update your achievements often.
- Be strategic about who you connect with.
- Use your actual name.
- Submit your profile photo to PhotoFeeler.com for unbiased feedback.
- Discover where alumni are and what they do.
- Reach out to contacts for informational interviews and job leads.
- Search and apply for job openings.
This microblogging site enables users to send, read, and communicate with updates from friends, industry leaders and career professionals.
Why use Twitter? Twitter is the “great equalizer” among the social networks. The site allows students to directly connect with distinguished alumni, public figures, industry leaders, and the managers you may one day work with!
Tips for Twitter
- Follow target companies and retweet their posts.
- Use your LinkedIn picture for consistency.
- Follow recruiters.
- Have a customized background and banner for your profile.
- Use Twellow.com to find people with whom you want to network.
Bonus: Scrub Your Profile!
- Request your archive.
- Use sites like BackTweets.com, TweetDelete.com, & TweetEraser.com to remove negative posts.
- Avoid typos/errors.
- Unfollow profiles with inappropriate content or names.
- Refrain from over-sharing.
- Stay positive and avoid regularly posting negative or sarcastic tweets.
- Make sure your messages match across all mediums!