Whether you realize it or not – you have a personal online brand identity that can help or hurt your job search. Managing your identity and reputation in today’s world is very important. In fact, two of out of five companies use social networking sites to screen candidates, according to a 2013 CareerBuilder study.
Every picture posted on Instagram, every tweet put on Twitter, and every status updated to Facebook and LinkedIn are a direct reflection of who you are. You never know when an employer might look you up and form an impression based on your online brand. Maintaining a consistent and professional appearance across all social networks is recommended. On the other hand, if you don’t have a social media presence, consider establishing a profile that employers can find. Social media allows people to build an online brand identity and can greatly benefit you in the long run.
It’s ok to be yourself, just be careful to keep all social media profiles consistent. Because consistency is key, make sure to personalize each of your social media sites with the most current picture of yourself and include up-to-date information on each profile. Be aware, if you currently have a job, your employer or co-workers could have an eye on your social media profiles. When you interact with people, both online and offline, they will build an image of who you are. Make sure it’s a good one, because it’s not easy to change an impression.
Although it’s impossible to control every view of your social media profiles, do your part to ensure that potential employers and peers aren’t reading information or seeing pictures that could damage your personal online identity. One step in controlling your presence is to review your privacy settings regularly. Your online reputation is a reflection of who you are and if you take steps to pursue the best possible representation of yourself, it could be a huge asset to your job search and future career.
How are you protecting your online brand identity? Share with us in the comment section below.