Let’s get social: forming a personal brand

We’ve all heard that employers look at our Facebook pages and search the web when they review an application. If that’s not reason enough to think about crafting a personal digital brand, then at least remember the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have the ability to view and track your social media activity.

We’re all well aware that social media has given a unique opportunity for us to know a lot about our relatives, friends and acquaintances. It’s easy to check out what Lisa from Bio class was for Halloween, what my cousin John ate for breakfast and the cool new bro tank that my buddy Jimmy just bought. That’s a lot of information, right?

The well-viewed content we create is so much more than just information though. Weaved together, it represents our lives and our personal stories. The persona that we can create through these various platforms says just as much if not more about a person as the clothes they choose, products they buy and the people they choose to surround themselves with.

Just think about it. You’ve probably liked hundreds of statuses or pages that invite your followers to learn about your opinions, beliefs, interests, hobbies and convictions. You most likely have changed your profile picture or personal information to advertise a cause that you hold important. And I’d bet money that you have posted a status or update that share what’s on your mind at the time (that you might not say out loud in person).

That’s why it’s so important to think about your personal brand in the context of social media. I’m not saying you should stress for hours whether you should click like on a controversial status, but every tweet, post, status and like that you put on the web forms an important part of who you are that often speaks more than a résumé can. There are even employers who require you to have a Pinterest page so they can learn more about your interests and passions.

So that’s all I’m saying, folks. Don’t let anyone dictate what you should do or say, but know that each time you create or share content online, it’s added to both a résumé and a biography that sticks with you for the rest of your life. Social media is a powerful tool, when leveraged in the right way. It’s not a secret that will guarantee you a job, but just always remember that your online content is read by an audience, so tweet and post responsibly, Cobbers.

What do you think? Tweet me @jtleeman.

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