When it comes to taking the next step in your career, you can be sure that it’s not just your resume employers and recruiters are looking at – your personal brand on social media is also important. What will people find when they search for you online? Even if you don’t have any embarrassing photos floating around, there’s a good chance that your personal brand and career could benefit from a little care and attention. Here are three simple ways to make your online presence an asset in your career.
Do a social media audit
The first step in improving your online presence is to know what’s out there. A good way to do this is to systematically work through your social media profiles, reviewing current and past content. Look for anything that is not in keeping with your personal brand. Unruly party photos are the obvious culprit, but they aren’t the only ones. When reviewing content, ask yourself: what would a potential employer or recruiter think if they saw this? Although it is important to focus on any negative impressions that may be created, don’t forget to look for positive content, too. It might be awards, community involvement or supporting a charity – anything that you can highlight to support your personal brand.
Curate your content
Once you have established how your personal brand is currently looking, it’s time to take some action. Remove any content that does not reflect how you want to be seen by potential employers and recruiters. This might mean contacting friends or organisations and asking them to remove content from their profiles as well. Then do some searches to see what comes up when people look for you. Make sure the results present your personal brand in a positive light.
Having removed anything negative, take some time to consider curating your favourable content. Is there material on one platform that you can share across others? If you write a blog, consider sharing this on suitable social channels. If you support a charity or community organisation, engage with their content to demonstrate your commitment via your social media profiles. Taking a little time to curate your social media content every now and then will help to ensure that your online image reflects the personal brand that you want employers and recruiters to see.
Polish your online personal brand
If you want to go beyond simply managing adverse content, there are plenty of ways to polish your online personal brand. Review and refresh your bio or summary section on each social media platform. Try to develop a coherent personal brand across platforms, for example by using the same profile picture. Encourage employers and recruiters to view the profiles that you want them to see by adding a link to them in your email signature or resume. Write a blog or article on a topic you are interested in or share something you have learnt. Comment thoughtfully on relevant posts. Every little bit helps.
Everyone has a personal brand. The question is whether or not you take care of it. Why not take control of your online personal brand, and make it work for you and your career? Always remove or manage negative content, no matter how old. Curate your content to highlight the positives. Look for opportunities to add a little polish with original content and thoughtful engagement. You never know when the person seeing your social media holds your next opportunity.