Establishing Your Online Brand
How you represent yourself, both off- and on-line, help to shape peoples' thoughts and perceptions about you. Be mindful about how you ‘brand’ yourself and the messages you give of yourself. A key part of your job search process should be building your brand and online image to match who you are and what you want potential employers, grad schools, and contacts to know about you.
The Benefits of an Online Image
Just about everyone, companies and organizations included, have an online presence. Utilizing social media and having an online presence can be a powerful and important tool for networking. Many people know of using social media for social reasons, but establishing yourself professionally online (and offline) can help guide your career development and job search.
Creating a Positive and Professional Online Image
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Google Yourself - It is important to regularly review what is out there about you. Gain an understanding of how someone may perceive you based on your online image. Does your online image fit with your “brand”?
- Set up Google alerts to be alerted if anything shows up on the internet about you.
- Take Action - Check your online image and social media pages often to make sure you are comfortable with a potential employer seeing what is on there. If you aren't comfortable try and have it removed or utilize tools to move more positive items higher on the search. For example:
- Establish a LinkedIn profile.
- Comment on a blog or forum in a positive, non-controversial way, or create your own professional blog.
- Establish an online portfolio (depending on your industry).
- Write a book or product review on websites such as Amazon.com or Overstock.com.
- Privacy - Be aware that recruiters will Google you, so use this to your advantage to promote yourself as a young professional. If there are items you don't want a recruiter to see: (1) adjust your privacy settings or (2) better yet, don't post it.
- Understand your privacy settings and terms of service. These terms change often, so make sure to keep up.
- Determine how you want your social media presence (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) to show up in search engine results. You can adjust your settings through these social media outlets to prohibit your timeline, Twitter feed and Pins from showing up in search results.
- Public Information - When posting something, remember that what you post online becomes public information.
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