A strong personal brand can help you demonstrate the value you bring to a particular role or organization, and show employers the type of leader you could be. Developing a personal brand can be an especially useful tool for college graduates who are looking for a job.
In fact, many business executives recommend that college students develop a personal brand to help differentiate themselves from other new graduates entering the workforce. Prospective employers will likely first experience your brand online. Many employers invest in social media recruiting, which is why you need to ensure that your brand is reflected accurately in your social media footprint.
Here are three ways you can use social media to build your personal brand:
1. Clean up your profiles
Start by making sure all your social media profiles are clear of any photos or content you wouldn’t want an employer to see. Decide which profiles will be a part of your professional brand, and which ones you’d rather keep private. For example, you may want to limit your Facebook circle to friends and family and focus your personal branding efforts on your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.
Make sure to choose a professional profile photo, and include any relevant links to online portfolios or blogs in your bio. You might also consider customizing your LinkedIn URL to make it easier for employers and recruiters to find you by searching your name.
2. Build out your LinkedIn profile
Go beyond the basics to make your LinkedIn profile really stand out. Add a personal headline to say a bit more about you. Don’t just reiterate the information already in your work and education sections – describe why you do what you do and what makes you unique.
Add a little bit of personality to your summary section, so that it doesn’t read exactly like your resume. Your summary is your chance to tell your story – don’t just list your skills or job titles you’ve had. Bring to life why your skills matter and emphasize what you bring to the table.
Finally, add rich media to showcase what you’ve done and engage your readers. This blog post offers some additional tips for revamping your LinkedIn presence.
3. Share content that is relevant and authentic to you
Show employers you are passionate about your industry and up-to-date with the latest trends and conversations by sharing or creating industry-relevant content. This could be in the form of a blog, or even a personal website if you’re interested in creative professions, such as graphic design or marketing. Engaging with others on LinkedIn is another way to build your professional online brand. If you have a unique perspective to offer on a particular issue or trend, share it in the comments or write your own short article using LinkedIn’s publishing feature.
By promoting and discussing what you’re passionate about, you’ll not only enhance your understanding of industry issues and events, you’ll also expand your professional network.
As you work on building your personal brand online, remember that it’s also important to stay true to your brand offline, in your interactions with others. Your personal brand should arise from who you already are and the type of professional you aspire to become. For more tips on defining your personal brand, check out this blog.