Clean up your online presence to build your personal brand

3 minutes   |  CAREER ADVICE

Your online presence is out there, and it’s already shaping the personal brand the rest of the world sees.

And because 3 out 4 hiring managers and recruiters check the social media profiles of candidates – even when they aren’t provided – your online presence might be affecting your job prospects.1

Whether you chose not to invest time into crafting your personal brand or you want to put in the effort to design a personal brand that speaks to your goals, you do need to clean up your online presence.

managers use social media to vet you

Prepare your online presence with these 3 tips

Action 1: Google yourself to see what your online presence looks like

People make decisions about you based on what they can find on the internet and 92% of companies use social media for recruiting.2 The easiest way for someone to check your credibility is through a simple Google search.

So, how are you faring?

Type your name into Google and see what comes up in the search results.

Google checklist
  • Were you expecting the results that came up?
  • Are you comfortable with your colleagues, clients, employer or future employer knowing this information about you?
  • Does this information support your professional image?
  • Is this information in line with your career aspirations?

Your online presence should add credibility to your CV, confirming who you say you are, and add a sophistication and authority to your personal brand. Ultimately, you want to make sure the information that a Google search brings up about you is accurate, updated, and reflective of your personal brand.

TIP: Set up a free Google Alert for your name to ensure you know what’s being published about you.

Action 2: Make changes to factors affecting your online presence

The information Google reveals is what you, and what others, have shared about you on public online platforms. Knowing what you’ve got out there is the first step to shaping your personal brand moving forward.

  • What privacy settings do you currently have on your profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn?
  • Do you have anything compromising on any of your profiles, such as inappropriate (or out of context) photos you’ve been tagged in; opinionated posts or comments you’ve shared relating to sensitive topics; information in your bio that could potentially position you in a bad light?
  • Do you have any inactive social media accounts or blogs that you may have forgotten about?
  • Are you mentioned on any third party websites that could be detrimental to your personal brand? If so, can you contact that website and remove the mention?

using social media to screen candidates

TIP: Shying away from joining social media channels or ensuring everything about yourself online is “top secret” may also negatively impact your personal brand. An online presence is the perfect way to build your personal and professional personality, and it’s possible to enjoy a personal online presence, while maintaining the professionalism of your brand.

Action 3: Start your personal brand, with what you already have

If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve probably succeeded in wiping the slate clean and you’re ready to start the real work involved in building and defining your personal brand. The key here is to define what you want to be known for and build it into your brand from the bottom up.

Ask yourself the following:

  • What social media profiles do you have? Do some of them need to be deleted or are you missing vital opportunities for networking by not having the right ones?
  • Have you defined which social media profiles you will use to position yourself professionally, and which will be strictly personal?
  • Are you following the right influencers on social media to ensure you’re up-to-date with the relevant industry trends and changes?
  • Do you have your own blog or website? Do you post regularly, and is the content you’re producing positioning as you as a thought leader in your industry?

personal brand quote

While crafting the perfect personal brand, it’s important to define the consistent image you’re going to be presenting. A poorly defined brand that conveys different messages and values can be detrimental to your career advancement. You’ll need to take into account who you are, how others perceive you, and who you want to become professionally. If you don’t define these things, the public will define them for you, by what is already available. Now is your chance to define yourself, and your career


 

Want to craft an online presence that sets you apart?

Add a skill set to your personal brand with an online short course from one of the world’s leading universities.

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1Time
2Adweek