In the age of digital, individual branding is everything. Whether you’re searching for a job after college, switching career paths or looking to move up at your current company, your professional brand matters. Why? Because when employers want to get to know you, they’ll look to social media first.
Need proof? According to a survey by Jobvite, 93% of hiring managers search LinkedIn for recruits, 65% search Facebook and 55% consult Twitter. Are you ready to craft your personal social media brand? Follow these 5 tips to kick-start your efforts!
1. Do Your Research
Start thinking about what you’re interested in and what your career goals are. Develop a clear objective so others can see you’re motivated and focused in your professional ambitions. Do you want to start your own business? Do you want to become an influencer in your industry? Be sure to communicate your passions, expertise and insight.
2. Identify Your Top 3 Strengths or Areas of Expertise
After you’ve done your research, narrow your expertise down to three areas. This allows you to stay focused and become an expert in your field(s) of choice. Next, highlight these three strengths on your social media platforms.
LinkedIn: Highlight your top areas of expertise in the summary section of your profile. Write a short description of each strength and be sure to reference previous experience in your job descriptions.
For example, if your top strengths are editing, writing and public relations, describe these in the summary and explain why you are an expert.
Facebook: Add your top interests to the “About You” section. On this platform, you don’t have to get as specific as you would on LinkedIn (unless you want to). You can have a bit more fun and include your hobbies as well as professional passions. Demonstrate your personality while staying consistent with your professional ambitions.
Twitter: Highlight your top three areas of expertise in your bio. Write a short description detailing your strengths as a professional. You should also add a few interesting details to showcase your personality.
Ex. Editor, writer and PR pro. Home is the wonderful city of Chicago where I spend my time trying new foods and gardening.
3. Constantly Share Content and Knowledge
In order to maintain your professional edge and personal brand, you should never stop learning. Read blogs in your industry, keep up with current news and follow major players on social media. Share the things that you find interesting and add your commentary or discuss how you relate to it.
Take it one step further and attend conferences, workshops and join groups. Involve yourself in conversations and do your best to stay on the cutting edge of hot topics.
4. Create a Personal Website
Think about creative ways to showcase who you are. Demonstrate your professional passions by uploading pictures, work examples or videos. Start a blog and consistently update it with interesting tips or advice.
Once you’ve completed your website, don’t forget to add the link to your social profiles as well as your resume!
5. Let Your True Personality Shine
Social media is a great place to express who you are while showcasing your accomplishments. Be yourself, use your own voice and have fun! Industry professionals want to learn and discuss topics with other real people. When writing your bios or replying to comments, remember to be yourself. The more authentic, professional relationships you build, the better!