Branding yourself on line is critical as you leverage your unique value, personality and skill set and position yourself as an expert in your field.
But in order for it to work to your advantage, you need to regularly revisit your brand and make sure that what you offer online remains aligned with the fluctuating needs of future employers and the positive perception of all your colleagues and contacts.
Steps to Brand Enhancement
As you begin the process of cleaning up your brand, keep these steps in mind:
- Canvass. Initiate contact with target employers and keep this information up to date.
- Learn. Determine what’s important to prospective employers as they plan for the future.
- Evaluate. Ask yourself: How does my brand meet their needs?
- Adjust: Discard the old and remove any barriers that prevent you from being your best.
Scrutinize Your Social Networks
It’s easy for your online networks to become cluttered, due to the quantity and variety of content they retain.
- Consider which networks you use and which are inactive. If you’re not present or current on them, they may be hindering your online image. Apps are among the most cumbersome. There’s no need for a large number of apps unless you’re actively using them.
- Update your networks on a regular basis. And make sure all data is consistent across web sites, blogs, video channels and all other venues.
- Your website says the most about you. Make sure it stays up to date, neat and orderly. This includes the copyright, which helps the Google search engine and also indicates to visitors that you take your personal brand seriously.
- Omit inactive email accounts. Outdated addresses could result in your audience contacting you in the wrong place, resulting in lost contacts or business.
Give it a Clean Sweep
As your lifestyle and your career change, so do you. You acquire new skills, gain experience and update your goals and your focus. So, you need to make sure that what’s said about you on the Internet reflects who you are and what you stand for right now.
- Google yourself. This tells you what kind of dirt you have to deal with. Are there items what are inaccurate, inadequate or outdated that need to disappear?
- Check privacy settings. To help determine which content you want to share and with whom, ask yourself: What would you want a potential employer to see? If you think something would be embarrassing or to your disadvantage in an interview situation, keep it private or remove it all together. For instance, you may want to limit access to your personal Facebook page, sharing updates only with friends. Or, segment Facebook friends into groups and give them different access to what you share.
- If you use networks where you can only show everything or nothing to the public, consider establishing multiple accounts.
Recent studies have shown that HR managers actively reference social media sites when making hiring decisions – and that content posted on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other venues has in many cases been a deciding factor for or against candidates. So be sure you take a smart, diligent approach to your online housekeeping!
To learn more about this and other career-building tactics, contact the professional experts at Alternative Staffing today.