The rise of Internet and social media platforms put great emphasis on the importance of self-branding online. Today, more and more employers rely on online resources such as LinkedIn and Twitter to find the best fit for the opening positions at their companies. Millions of young artists, journalists and writers upload their portfolios on personal websites and blogs to demonstrate their exceptional abilities to the world and connect with each other. Today, in the digital age, when the whole world is at our fingertips, we need to understand the concept of personal branding and the key aspects of marketing our professional skills online as never before.
To understand what personal branding is, you need to answer some simple questions. How do people you know, your family, friends and colleagues perceive your persona? What are the main characteristics of your personality, skills, experiences represent you in public? And what is your reputation at the workplace and outside of the office? The summary of all these characteristics and traits form your personal brand. If a reputation may be formed spontaneously, based on your achievements and accomplishments, personal branding is a long process of creating a certain image of yourself that will help you market your expertise online.
Building Your Brand
To build your brand successfully you need to learn who you are both personally and professionally. Without a clear understanding of yourself you will never be able to create an authentic social media account that may attract potential employers who are looking for real people with real passions. So, don’t be shy to express your personality fully and honestly. Share stories that you like with your friends, upload video files that you find useful for your industry. Create events and discussions to show how much you care about the current issues of your industry. Be proactive by sending friend requests to the potential employers. They appreciate your interest in the company.
Another important point in positioning your brand online is choosing a right profile picture. Profile photo should look simple and professional. There is no doubt, that employers want to know you as a person, but don’t reveal too much private and personal information. Do not upload a photo of yourself with friends in a bar or a nightclub as it may question your professionalism right way.
Social Media Account Management
Wise social media account management is a crucial part of building your brand. Torsten Gross, Founder and CSO of Partners and Partners, believes that checking a social media account is “’meeting’ him before meeting him,” so take the process of managing your profile seriously. Employers will judge you based on the information that is available for public. Remember, if something is available online it is not private anymore. Treat Facebook and Twitter as a public space where you share smart and thoughtful ideas and your true passions rather than suspicious photo and video content. Treat your virtual life as extension of your real life.
Dos and Don’ts of Branding Yourself Online
Do create Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages to search for jobs. Find your topic and show to the world how passionate and creative you are about the job. Be nice and polite to people, share stories that may be helpful or useful for your friends. Stay professional and ethical. Mind your grammar when sending out your resume or reaching out potential employers.
Don’t over criticize or gossip about your past employers, don’t reveal embarrassing facts about other people. Don’t be shy or afraid to connect with people, they appreciate your interest. Don’t write very long emails or messages, employers are very busy and don’t have time to read it till the end.
All in all, personal branding is a long process of creating professional image online and establishing connection with colleagues and employers. It takes some time and effort to succeed, but it will pay of in the future. Just follow the easy rules and don’t forget to have fun along the way.
Do you have a personal branding story? Let us know in the comments!