Unless you've been consciously avoiding it, you currently have a social media presence (or brand) whether you like it or not. Your social media presence is essentially what someone sees when they look you up online. Much like diamonds, the internet is forever, so be aware that what you do and say out there in cyberspace can follow you throughout your career. When you apply for a job, your future employers will almost certainly do at least a cursory examination of your social media presence in the process of vetting your candidacy for employment. Because of this, there are three important personal branding tips you should consider about your social media presence.
1. Create a LinkedIn profile
More and more, having a LinkedIn profile is considered a basic professional requirement in most fields. If you are in a non-traditional occupation you could possibly get away without one, but even then it's a good idea for building your personal brand to establish a presence. You don't want to give the impression that you are not current with social media and technology – especially if you are over forty.
2. Evaluate consistency
Does your social media presence support your resume? If not, this could be a big red flag to potential employers. Failing to update your profile or include details that are on your resume makes you look sloppy. Worse is if you have completely different jobs listed. This makes you look unfocused at best and duplicitous at worst. If you don't have too much content on your LinkedIn profile, you can easily update and add some of your resume's to it.
3. Consider the content you post or share
Social media is all about connections and it's important to consider what doors you would like open and what doors you would like shut when posting content. If you are posting highly personal content, you may succeed in establishing a connection point with like-minded folks, but possibly closing a door with others. You need to evaluate which is more important and post content accordingly for building your personal brand.
It's also important to be mindful that unprofessional, hostile, illegal or unethical content anywhere, any time is never, ever, ever a good idea. Especially not on professional sites but even personal sites can be linked to you with very little effort. Resist the urge to post those party pics, no matter how fun they are. There is very little chance they will enhance your employability. Think of it this way – if you were working, would you want your boss to see those pictures? If no, keep them offline.
Use the personal branding tips above and take the time to clean up your social media profiles to ensure you present yourself as the best possible candidate for the job of your dreams.
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