Posted by: deltadallas | August 20, 2010

Build Your Online Branding

I was talking to a friend mine, Jeff Payne of Ascendworks Consulting the other day. He said something very interesting to me. He said, “If you don’t have an online identity, then you don’t exist in today’s market.” I thought about it for a moment. He’s right. If you are going to build your personal brand, you MUST have an online presence. A positive one.

A lot of the candidates we have encountered are behind the curve on this one. Employers are checking your identity not just through your driver’s license and a background check, but also via your online image. If you have information online, you had better make sure that it is information you want a future employer to see. Moreover, you had better have something online worth seeing.

Join LinkedIn, already!
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you need to stop reading this article and get one right now. Guy Kawasaki (Of Poor Dad Rich Dad) has written on this subject more than once! I suggest checking out his piece entitled, Ten Ways to Find a Job on LinkedIn .  Mr. Kawasaki’s advice is sound, and he has the contacts to get the best information that is out there. I really want to be Guy when I grow up!

Build a professional blog.
I am happily employed, but as a professional, I feel that it is important to have a blog. You alone are responsible for your personal brand, and a blog is a great place to start. I have my blog set up in WordPress. It is easy, and it is free. If you want to have someone set it up for you, you are welcome to spend the money, but if you are out of work…don’t worry about it. I also recommend that you use your professional blog to specifically expound upon business-related topics. You can create a personal blog for other subjects.

Clean Up Your Social Media
Use the privacy settings on Facebook and make sure that your profile photo is G-rated. Investigate your other social media venues and make sure that your online image is one that others will view as “employable”. For instance, if you are trashing your present employer on Twitter, don’t expect a potential employer to find that valuable.

Meaningful Interaction
If you need to have two Twitter profiles, that is fine, but please don’t let your professional associates know about EVERYTHING you do in your day. I don’t care if you are at Starbucks for the second time today. I do care, though, if you meet an associate at Starbucks and learn something new about the industry you are in. I care if you decide to donate half your Starbucks budget to a charity. Bring value. And please…stop googling ancient Chinese proverbs to quote.

Finally, you should check out 100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media  by Chris Brogan, who is also a rock star in my book. Read his post, and you will understand what I am talking about. Also, subscribe to his blog.

There are many resources out there for you to begin to develop your online brand. Whatever you do, just get started. We are seeing candidates now that have their own websites, online resumes or CV’s and can effectively communicate their value with these tools.  Don’t get lost in the black hole of job boards. Build your online branding and set yourself apart with a branded value proposition.

Tabitha Woods is Marketing Coordinator with Delta Dallas. If you are interested in Dallas employment or jobs in Dallas, you can submit your resume to Delta Dallas or call 972.788.2300.

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