By now, you should have taken the necessary measures to protect your online reputation. Now let’s take a look at your professional image online! Promoting yourself on social media can heighten your profile on professional networks.
Create and Enhance Your Profile and Network
Your public profiles should be consistent with your career goals.
Standardize all your online résumés, ensuring they are up-to-date.
Cultivate your network by making connections and communicating with your contacts.
Use your profile(s) as a vehicle for your personal brand. It defines who you are, from statements you say about yourself to how you present yourself on social media.
Who Are You?
Identify your passions, ambitions and values, and decide how you would like to be perceived.
For example, a car salesperson would most likely want to be viewed as outgoing, friendly, trustworthy, honest and experienced at selling vehicles. How could they portray that image through social media and their other networks?
Portray the right image. Think before publishing a photograph of yourself or writing a blog or post. The content should present you professionally and in the best possible light.
Profesional photos are a worthwhile investment for social media profile pictures.
Create and expand your network. Building a network of professional contacts is an important asset when searching for a job. It allows you to connect with more professionals. Recruiters will know what opportunities you are looking for.
Networking simply means interacting with and exchanging information with people through online platforms and at business and social events or projects.
After your initial meeting, nurture the relationship to develop contacts and networks. You will benefit from connections, as they might endorse your skills and expertise and even refer you to their network.
You may also develop a “signature look” that conveys the message you wish to project, i.e., confident art curator or trendy musician.
It's up to you to decide which social media tools will be the most useful to you.
Participate in online discussions about topics that interest you or are related to your field. You may have case studies you have worked on or input from your clients. Be sure to keep your comments in line with your professional profile.
Your professional image is viewed on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other social media platforms. Make sure these sites appear professional, from your brief biography (a short written description of you), to your photo and résumé. Your biography creates a good first impression. Update it regularly to reflect developments in your career and other changes.
We mentioned the importance of a professional email address in the first chapter of this course. Make sure to use a “email@example.com" or similar format. Steer clear of more whimsical email addresses to maintain your professional identity and be visible on social media. The formatting of your email address is a significant part of your toolkit and one you don’t want to overlook. It forms part of your brand and identity.
Communicate Your Brand
Attend social networking events, ask for introductions and get noticed by recruiters to establish your brand. Once you get noticed, you may receive invitations to seminars which are great for building your personal brand.
Another way to enhance your professional network is to build your e-portfolio. In the next chapter we look at how to create your e-portfolio, another mode to showcase your talents. Now let’s move on!