Your personal brand is how you appear to the world. In today’s competitive marketplace it is difficult to stand out. Having strong grades and being involved in extracurricular activities is part of the solution but does not guarantee that you will land a job come graduation. The real secret to standing out among applicants is having a strong personal brand and harnessing what makes you unique.
University is the place where you begin to develop your personal brand by building networks, learning in class and participating in a variety of extracurricular activities. Social media can be used to leverage yourself in terms of building your personal brand. Here are some tips for using social media to build your personal brand while in university!
Join groups that focus on your passion and industries
Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter allow users to join groups that represent their passions and industries. By joining these groups you have the ability to follow and engage with people with similar interests thus expanding your network.
Additionally, you can gain knowledge and participate in conversations that will provide legitimacy to your personal brand when talking to future employers.
LinkedIn is an employment and business oriented social networking site known as the Facebook of the working world. This is professional social networking tool and can be used to leverage your personal brand if implemented effectively. The goal is to have people be able to build a professional picture of you and your personal brand.
The following tips can take your LinkedIn profile to the next level:
Optimize your profile
LinkedIn has a variety of features that will give potential employers a greater idea of who you are. Posting a professional profile photo will allow people to put a face to the posts, humanizing the online experience. Additionally, remember to manage your featured skills and endorsements to allow people to be better aware of your capabilities. LinkedIn offers a feature called LinkedIn Learning, which you can use to gain further knowledge and increase the skills on your profile.
Publish content to showcase your passions and skills
Publishing unique content allows you to showcase your passion and skills. This also permits you to increase your network size as people interact with your posts.
The more that you publish, the more credibility you bring to a future employer regarding your knowledge of a topic. For example, if you are doing a year abroad or starting a new consider writing about your experiences and lessons learned. This will show employers that you are analytical and passionate.
Be visible and build brand associations
LinkedIn is not just about whom you are but also what are apart of. Building your network and belonging to specific groups builds your brand, as that is what people will associate you with. Make sure to only associate yourself with people and pages that are reflective of the brand image you want to convey.
Consistency is key
How would you feel if every time you travelled to a different Starbucks location your drink was made differently? Part of Starbucks overall brand image is the promise to make your drink correctly and consistently. A caramel macchiato is supposed to be made the same way at every location. Consistency will help control people’s perception of personal brand. You can damage this if you content varies greatly from each social media site or your posts do not represent you. It is difficult to rebrand yourself so it is important that you position yourself correctly early on.
Censor your social media
Everything that you post contributes to other’s perception of your brand. Make sure to pay extra attention to your spelling and grammar. Poorly written posts with slang or inappropriate jokes will lessen people’s overall impression of you. Similar to written text posts, a picture can say a thousand words. All images should be reflective of your personal brand while being both appropriate and professional.
Social media provides effective tools that can help you leverage your personal brand. What social media branding tips do you have? Leave us a comment and let us know!