Working Girl How-To: Building Your Personal Professional Persona
From websites to blogs to social media, the Internet provides tremendous opportunities to leverage your personal brand. The tricky part is, it also provides tremendous opportunities to damage your personal brand as well. With your personal brand representing your unique selling proposition to the online world, the last thing you want to do is get mixed up with the wrong crowd.
Whether you’re working full-time, in between jobs or looking for your next career move, you’re still representing a professional brand so it’s important to build and maintain a recognizable brand in the same way your boss expects you to represent theirs. Here’s a few ways:
Create an online presence. I am amazed by how many people lack an online presence, personally and professionally! I mean, how many of your Facebook friends have gone from ‘Joe Smith’ to ‘Joseph Adam’ in an attempt to hide from potential employers? This is the first place they are looking for you! Rather than run and hide, show exactly where you are. A website can easily act as an online resource for a resume and/or portfolio and a blog takes your listed resume skills and brings them to life. And it can all be presented in a personalized clickable link.
Monitor and maintain your social media channels. The great thing about the rapid expansion of social media is that no two networks are the same. Learning how to use each network to personalize your message and tailor to each audience provides even more benefits for your personal brand. For example, I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family but LinkedIn is more professional and industry based and I can use Twitter to leverage both.
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes first. Before you post anything, always put yourself in your boss’s shoes. Would you want your employees representing your brand that way? If you question yourself, it’s probably not a good idea.
"Hard work is the foundation of success—but it’s not enough. If you’re going to get the opportunities you want, you need to make those stellar results visible to others. So don’t just keep your head down, get it out there where others can see it. Remember, these are the new rules." – Anne Libby, the Muse