By Wiss Associate
Personal Branding is the process of developing a “mark” that is created around your personal name or your career. You use this “mark” to express and communicate your skills, personality and values with the end goal being that the personal brand you develop will build your reputation and help you to grow your network in a way that interests others. They will then seek you out for your knowledge and expertise. Below are some guidelines you should follow when developing your personal brand:
Decide and create
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you already have a personal brand because of social media. The question isn’t IF you have a personal brand, but IF you choose to guide and develop the brand or let it be defined on your behalf. Take a look at your online presence in the shoes of someone who doesn’t know you. What message are you sending about yourself? Do you like what you see? If not, there is good news–your brand is all up to you. Decide what you want your brand to be and create it!
Why is it important?
Social Media acts as a first impression, even before the phone screening or the first interview so make sure it’s a good one! Imagine a potential employer viewing your Facebook or Twitter page right now—does this make you nervous? If they see a typo on your LinkedIn page, will they be less likely to reach out to you? (Hint: the answer is YES) Try to get your future employer’s attention for all of the right reasons, not the wrong ones.
Show who YOU are
Everyone knows that social media pages like Facebook and Instagram are more personal, so if someone takes a look, they should get a general idea of what your interests are. Employers want to see that you have hobbies outside of class and that you’re not just sleeping with your calculator every night. This helps give them an idea of whether or not you fit into their culture (sports teams, community service, office life, etc.) It won’t make or break their decision but it definitely will give you a head start over the competition!
Most of you know that you are able to make your accounts private, but be aware that privacy settings can be a little tricky. No matter what your privacy settings are, your current profile picture can be seen by everyone, so make sure it’s appropriate. Additionally, be conscious of what you post publicly. People have been fired over social media posts in the past and it can definitely keep you from getting hired. Think before you tweet! If someone retweets or shares your post, even if you delete the original, it’s out there forever and much harder to rid your name of these posts than you think.
Consistency and layering
Consistency is boosted by layering. Once you know what you want your brand to be, stick with it. The more consistent your brand is throughout your social media pages, the more credible you are in the eyes of a recruiter. In addition, layer as much as you can and know that every little thing you do counts: every group or organization you’re involved with, whether on-campus or back home should be displayed on your social media pages. You never know what will catch someone’s eye because they share a common interest.
Here’s one last tip while you begin the journey of making your “mark”: Google yourself and see what you find. Google is a free and easy tool for recruiters and you best be sure it is their go-to tool when researching. If your name is linked to something positive or negative, they will take notice.
Remember that your personal brand is in your own hands; it’s all up to you and what you want it to be!