Do you find yourself untagging pictures from last Friday night? How about tweeting what you just ate for lunch? Been there, done that.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ have taken the world by storm. They allow you to connect with colleagues, friends from back in high school or that guy you met at that party. You can scroll down your newsfeed for hours, checking out videos or commenting on statuses that your friends posted.
Social media sites can also be used to brand yourself. Nowadays, future employers find it a plus when you’re active on these sites and use them to your advantage. According to CareerBuilder.com, 45 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. Starting to panic? Here are some tips on building your social media presence.
Re-evaluate how you use social networking sites.
Are you holding a red Solo cup in your profile picture? Do your tweets and statuses consist of what you ate for dinner or how much you hate the world? Do YeW sTiLl TyPe LyKe DiS? Will your grandmother shake her head when she scrolls through your Facebook page? These might have been the norm back in the MySpace days, but now you might want to clean up your pages. Be aware of what you’re posting and whether your future employer deems it appropriate!
Use these sites to build an image you desire.
Are you a music junkie? Do you stay up-to-date on current events? Do you really like cooking? If you know what you’re passionate about and that you might want to pursue as a career, then show that to your friends, followers and future employers. Retweet the latest review on that new band you’re crazy about. Post a link of what’s happening around the world. Blog about your favorite red velvet cupcakes recipe. Your readers will be impressed with how you’re using these sites to build an image, and they might refer to you as “the guy who’s in the music scene” or “that news connoisseur chick.”
Create a personal website about yourself.
The key in building your online presence is to start a website to work as your online portfolio. Have the URL focused on your personal brand, whether you want that brand to be your real name or a username you’ve been using. Include your resume in the site (preferably a PDF file) as well as links to your other accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or blog. It’s ideal to also have available links to published works or sites that you work for.
You want your readers and employers to remember your brand. Sync your bio sections and pictures on your social networking sites and websites you contribute to. Try to use the same usernames for each of these sites for people to remember. First and last names are recommended, but if you’re John Smith or Sarah Chung, you probably need to use a nickname or username you often use to stand out.
If this is going over your head, there are sites that can help promote yourself on the web. For example, Brand-Yourself is a site started by college students that aim to help build a strong, positive presence online.
Do you have any social media dos and don'ts to share?