How to create your personal online brand

Blog post

What would come up if you googled yourself? Have a google, because the chances are that if you’re in the running for a job opportunity you will be googled by the person considering hiring you.  

In the age of social media, it is way too easy to expose your personal life online for the world to see. For better or worse, this includes potential employers. 

Since over 90% of recruiters and HR professionals use social media in determining whether or not to hire you, having uncensored photos visible on your Facebook profile can dampen your chances of getting your dream job tremendously.  

It’s not all bad news though. The massive silver lining to social media is that you can use it to your advantage by crafting a strong online personal brand that will enhance your chances.  

Read our tips and manage your online personal brand like a pro.  

1. Use social media appropriately  


LinkedIn  

LinkedIn started as the ‘Facebook for professionals’. Nowadays it is much more. It is not only where you display your online professional profile, but it can also be used as a blog, and it enables you to reach out to potential employers and find your next job.  

  • Use a professional and friendly photo  

  • Have a strong, up-to-date personal profile and headline 

  • Emphasise your key skills, competencies and achievements 

  • Add any publications or additional credentials you may have 

  • Ask your colleagues to endorse you 

  • Write blog style posts on your subject matter  

Facebook 

There is a fine line between giving a glimpse at your personal life and oversharing personal details on Facebook.  

  • Update your settings to ensure your profile is set to private 

  • Ensure your profile photo is appropriate and not offensive to any potential hiring managers 

  • Decide what you want your potential employer to see and keep your profile consistent 

  • Emphasise your personal interests and what you like doing outside of work 

  • Make public any profile-enhancing information, such as charitable work and volunteering  

Twitter 

Twitter can be a powerful tool to show you’re an expert in your field.  

  • Post and retweet breaking news and content about the latest happenings in your industry 

  • Balance posting industry insights and personal updates to display your personality 

  • Keep up to date with your industry by following key influencers and thought leaders 

Instagram  

If you’re one of the 1 billion Instagram users, you’ll know it’s for photo and video sharing.  This platform provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the public what your life is all about.  But it can make or break your reputation.  

  • If your profile is public, avoid sharing images that would be off-putting for hiring managers who may be considering you for a role. Alternatively, change your profile to a private one. 

  • Use Instagram as an opportunity to highlight your interests which are aligned to the brand profile you’re wanting to share.  

  • Get creative with your captions to show personality. 

2. ‘SEO’ yourself 


Your CV 

When you look for a new job, you will most likely upload your CV to numerous online job boards. Ensure your CV reflects your personal brand and is easy to find for any recruiter. 

  • Keywords are everything. Place the right keywords front and centre to reflect your personal brand. 

  • Ensure the writing is top-notch and avoid spelling mistakes. 

  • Be specific in describing your experience.  

Your online profile 

Use the right keywords to target your employer. Ensure your online profiles have the right keywords. For example, if you’ve described yourself as a ‘master SAP expert’, you could change it to make it more specific such as ‘SAP FICO Architect’.   

3. Blogging 


If done right, blogging can be the ultimate means to prove you as an expert in your industry and effectively display your personality. 

  • Delve into the key issues facing your peers in your industry 

  • Write in your personal tone but ensure it isn’t out of line with your audience. 

  • Promote and provide links to it on all your social media channels.  

  • Keep your blog updated regularly. 

4.  Maximise your reach 


Ensure that you include links to any professional online profiles, website and/or blog in your email signature.  This will give you more exposure to potential employers.  

Raise awareness of your expertise by engaging across professional blogs, forums and LinkedIn discussions.   

Take these steps to ensure your online brand is aligned with the role you’re looking for. You’ll make a great first online impression and increase your chances of being asked for an interview.  

Visit RED’s blog for more career advice and SAP industry insight. Register with RED and search for jobs online today.  

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