Following topic two’s discussion of online identities, online presence is essentially the product of all of all of them. Statistics reveal that 93% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruiting efforts (Jobvite, 2014). As career hungry second and final year students, we should be aiming to develop a professional online presence. In fact, in this video, Michael Weiss (2014) states that if we haven’t yet started developing this profile, we are already “late to the game”.
In this day and age, we are moving away from the CV and cover letter being the be all and end all of getting a job. But what great news! Realistically, while there is only so much we can get across on a CV, social media is our oyster for self-promotion and storytelling. Corinne Mills discusses how specific networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can boost our professional profile here.
So how do we go about developing this profile?
Ideally, we want our profile to stand out against hundreds of others. Socrates once said “To find yourself, think for yourself”. If we rely on the thoughts of others, we are just mimicking that person. Our personal brand must be an honest and accurate representation of ourselves and something that we ourselves believe in.
What’s a better way to be authentic than blogging? Blogging is an activity that some people (myself included) undervalue enormously. It provides a great opportunity to showcase our skills. As explained in this article (2014), blogging demonstrates passion, dedication, motivation and creativity which are all traits that employers are on the lookout for.
Don’t stop there!
Your digital presence isn’t like handing in an essay you have spent a week on. We must, as Thomas Smale (2015) points out, remain ‘student[s] of [our] industry’ and keep relentlessly amending our profile with the goal of making it as up to date as possible.
In the following video, Amber Rose discusses steps to create a unique personal brand. I find step 5 particularly interesting; what are six words that describe you? I’d love to hear what my fellow bloggers choose for their six words!
My final point is that it is important, as Shama Hyder (2014) points out, that ‘every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share, contributes to your personal brand’. This means that it only takes a silly tweet or a controversial photo to damage your brand’s reputation; Justine Sacco and Walter Palmer both learnt this the hard way. Remember, what’s on the internet stays on the internet! We are in control of our authentic online professional profile and we should develop it wisely.
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Hyder, S. (2014) 7 Things You Can Do To Build An Awesome Personal Brand, Forbes. Accessed 06/11/15 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/shamahyder/2014/08/18/7-things-you-can-do-to-build-an-awesome-personal-brand/2/
Jobvite (2014) Social Recruiting Survey. Accessed 06/11/15 from https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf
Nyman, N. (2014) Using Social Media in your Job Search. Accessed 06/11/15 from http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/
Rose, A. (2013) 5 Easy Steps to Create your own Personal Brand. Accessed 06/11/15 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDNz3496abs
Smale, T. (2015) 5 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand, Entrepreneur. Accessed 06/11/15 from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250924
TheEmployable (2014) How blogging can help you get a job. Accessed 06/11/15 from http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/
Weiss, M. (2013) Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. Accessed 06/11/15 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962