Imagine this scenario…
You apply for a job (possibly your dream job)… As soon as the Human Resources rep/hiring manager/team finds out you submitted an application, guess what they do?
They Google your name. They look for you on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, G+, YouTube, Instagram, etc. They note what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to.Do you know what Google is saying about you? You should.Don’t get caught with your pants down (literally or figuratively!).
So let’s just say that Google doesn’t find ANYTHING on you. That’s really not so good. Are you that far off the grid? Then again, maybe your dream job is to become a spy. In that case, it’s probably best that you’re not Google-able. But if being a secret agent is not your goal, maybe you should consider spending a little time working on your digital profile. At the very least, put your resume up on LinkedIn.
Sometimes people get a little “worked up” over the concept of “personal branding.” It sounds like a a big headache. But honestly, it’s not. Like Public Enemy said, “Don’t believe the hype” (whooowhoowhooohahhhh).
When it comes to my personal brand, I try to keep it simple and authentic. I am who I am (and sometimes, I cuss like a sailor!)
Other things to keep in mind:
- Think before you publish questionable content. (What would your grandma say? What would your current or future boss say?)
- Don’t just dribble-babble, have something to say. Become “the” authorative source for X. Know everything there is to know about your industry, hobby or special interest. Whatever it is, make sure you stand for something online.
- Let your actions speak louder than your words. Don’t brag about what you do, just do it.
Being aware of your own brand – what you have to offer and your value to others – is vitally mportant to keep ahead of the game.” ~David Royston-Lee, Brand You
Here’s what you need to create (revise/update) your personal brand
1. Think about your image. Who are you? What do you want to be known for?
Listen to “Who Are You?” by The Who for inspiration.
2. Take inventory of your online presence (yes, Google yourself).
3. Take inventory of your social media profiles. Which ones should you focus on? Well, depends on your industry, hobby or special interest. Where are the people gathering and talking about whatever it is you’re in to? Go where the people are. You don’t have to be on EVERY social media channel (unless you want to be a Social Medai Manager or Strategist, in which case, you better be everywhere and you better understand the nuances of all the various online communities.)
Listen to “The Impression That I Get” by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. And ask yourself, what impression do I want to give people?
4. Write a bio - a long one (1-2 pages); a short one (160 characters, which, btw, is perfect Twitter bio length); and a medium one (240 charcters). Keep all three versions on hand. They are useful for writing cover letters and introducing yourself to friends of friends. Use these bios on all your public social media channels.
5. Take a “clean” photo. No skimpy clothes, hand gestures, or group shots. Use this photo on your LinkedIn profile, Twitter, public Facebook page, etc. Try to look professional, you don’t want someone to mistake your Twitter account for a porn spammer!
If you have any additional tips, advice or examples on personal branding, please share them in the comments.
Download a PDF of my slides from "Brand You" a presentation to students, faculty and staff at Skyline Community College’s Social Media Speaker Series May 16, 2012.