How to Scrub and Build Your Social Presence Before Searching for a Job was originally published on Vault.
It’s common knowledge that employers check your social media presence before considering you for a job. So if you’re thinking about looking for a new position, here are the four key steps you need to take to ensure that you’re properly maintaining and creating your personal brand across your social accounts.
1. Ask yourself what you want your brand to be.
Before you start editing your social media profile, you need to know what kind of “you” you want to present. This “image” is what people talk about when they use the term “personal brand.” And just like creating a business brand, building a personal brand begins with thinking about who you are, what you want to achieve, and how you can get that message across to your audience.
This means asking yourself these important questions:
- What do I want to achieve?
- What are my passions and interests?
- What are my personality traits?
- Who do I want to attract?
- What are my talents?
- What is my niche?
- How do I want to sound in conversation?
- What do I have to offer?
To answer these questions, make notes, draw up a word cloud, or make a spreadsheet to organize your thoughts. However you want to organize your ideas, once you’ve worked through this process, you’ll have a much better idea of the brand you want to put across. When you give yourself some guidelines, you’ll find it much easier to maintain an effective brand image.
2. Clean up your social media accounts.
Now that you’ve mapped out your personal brand, it’s time to clean up your current social media accounts. You need to remove any content that doesn’t “fit” with your image. Start by searching for yourself online. What do you see? Do the results fit with your brand? Or is it all a bit of a mess?
To help you select which content to delete, it’s a good idea to know the most common social media mistakes. These include: postings about job offers from other companies, complaints about your bosses, gossip about coworkers, cyberbullying, and anything that might be illegal. And to get rid of unwanted content, you’ll need to either delete or untag; the way you do this differs by platform.
3. Create content that’s true to your personal brand.
Once you’ve cleared out the rubbish, it’s time to start creating new, brand-worthy content. If you want to be seen as an authority in your field, you’ll need to take an active role in contributing to the conversation. There are a few different ways to do this:
Find a site with high authority in your field and pitch them an article idea. Most sites will be happy to link to one of your personal brand assets (such as your website, LinkedIn, or online portfolio). And some will even add your URL in your author bio.
Create your own blog
If you enjoy guest blogging, then why not start your own blog. A personal blog doesn’t have to be full of long and time-consuming posts. You can create instructional pieces, reviews, critiques, or just talk about things that you find inspirational. Just make sure your blogs always focus on your niche.
Answer questions online
You have a lot of knowledge, so share it. Quora, Answer.com, Yahoo Answers, and other question-and-answer platforms can help you demonstrate your knowledge in your field. Search for questions you might know the answer to, set up alerts for certain topics, and start helping people.
Create a Facebook Group
When you create or join a Facebook Group, you don’t just open up discussions but also opportunities to network and connect. You’ll get to “meet” other people in your industry and show off your expertise. Just remember to give more than you take. If you treat a Group like your personal soap box, you’ll do more damage than good.
Make a video
People love video content, and there are so many ways you can use this medium to inspire and create. You could shoot a vlog, product review, webinar, or tutorial. Not only will your audience (hopefully your new boss) be inspired by what you have to say but they’ll also be impressed with who is saying it.
4. Create your own online portfolio/website.
If you’re already considering setting up your own blog, why not go the whole hog and create a full website with a blog on the side? A personal website can act like a high-end resume. Websites are more fluid, interesting, and interactive than resumes. Plus, any snooping potential employers will feel they can trust you if you make it incredibly easy to take a full view of your online presence.
Note that the website doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive. It just has to contain your biography, examples your work, and your achievements. Some reviews and references can also be helpful.
Hannah Vicarage is a creative B2B content writer for ukwebhostreview.com. Her mission is ‘to unjumble the jargon’ and help businesses make marketing work for them.