How to Create a Powerful Online Personal Brand
These days, many hiring managers look online to learn more about you as a person and a professional. The proliferation of social media has promoted a corporate landscape where your social media image matters almost as much as your resume—an unfavorable impression can cost you a job even if you’re superbly qualified.
Creating a powerful online personal brand can help jumpstart your career—it’s like having an ad about you on constant rotation. On social media, both your personal and professional life are on display, so make sure each enhances your job search. If you need a hand, contact our experts for support.
Personal vs. professional
Sharing your personal life on social media can ultimately hurt you as a professional. If your social media profiles are filled with questionable pictures and posts, hiring managers will quickly reject you. This isn’t to say you can’t put details of your personal life online, but in the job search, it can affect your professional life. You might want to rethink party pictures, controversial opinions, or anything else that could seem unprofessional or troubling to a hiring manager.
You may think all you need to do is adjust your privacy settings, and while that can certainly help, it doesn’t fix everything. If friends have tagged you in compromising posts that are publicly available, make sure to delete the tag. Also, take down any posts and pictures that might undermine your professional standing. You may even want to go as far as deleting your entire account. Unfortunately, once you put something on the internet, there’s no getting rid of it, but you can at least make it exceedingly difficult for a hiring manager to find.
It’s also important to note that your potential employer will likely be visiting your social media profiles. Even if you delete posts you don’t want them stumbling across, this information may still pop up in the meta description of Google search results. It can take several weeks or even months before data is deleted from the Google archives because the algorithm initially assumes unavailable information is just temporarily down. Therefore, tackle your social media lots of time in advance.
Less is more
There are countless social media platforms out there, but you don’t need to be active on all of them. Determine which ones enhance your professional image and use those.
For example, if you’re a photographer, Instagram may help you showcase your work and demonstrate your artistic and photo-editing skills to a prospective employer. If you’re a writer, find some blogging sites to upload your writing. You could highlight your video skills on YouTube.
Importantly, always make sure you create appropriate content, whatever it is. It doesn’t need to be related to your job—you just need something that paints you in a good light and would impress a recruiter.
Although it’s up to you which social media platforms you use, one that all professionals should be active on is LinkedIn. It is specifically designed for professional networking, helping users connect with others in their field, including potential employers. The site also offers the option to insert links to other social media accounts that highlight your personal brand. Since LinkedIn is designed for professional use, it’s easy to curate the image you want to project.
It takes time
You won’t build a powerful personal brand overnight—it takes patience, persistence, and dedication. Once you’ve established your online brand, stick with it. Whether it’s photography, writing, or videography, keep showing the world the value you can add with your skills. Stay consistent and patient, and try to find joy in the content you create. If you hate doing what you do, find a better use of your time to develop your professional self.
You may not gain a lot of followers right from the start, and you shouldn’t expect immediate results. Success takes time. Work daily to develop your brand, and let your efforts bear fruit. Creating an online personal brand may take you out of your comfort zone, but you’ll never grow if you don’t challenge yourself. Set long-term goals and take steps each day toward achieving them. Even if progress feels slow, you’re working your way to success.
Creating an online personal brand takes significant thought and effort. If you want to succeed as a professional, you must dedicate time and energy to it. Focusing on a few social media accounts is better than dabbling half-heartedly in many. Be patient. Do what you need to do, and let your energy fuel your success. When done right, social media can deliver astounding results for a professional. Not sure if your online personal brand projects power and confidence? Get our expert to help!