A lot of people are talking lately about building your own personal brand. With the advent of so many social media platforms, it’s much easier for prospective employers to look you up online. What you do and say on these largely publicly accessibly platforms is what makes up your personal brand.
While many people like to talk about the downsides of these platforms (ie. the drunken pictures on your Facebook page), when utilized well they can have a powerful impact for good on your career. The problem most people have is that they think that their personal brand will just happen on its own. That’s just not the case. Your personal brand needs to be managed and considered. Otherwise, people will only get part of the picture and it might be the part you least want them to know about. When you manage your personal brand it can be extremely powerful.
I previously wrote about the value of blogging to your career. As discussed, this is really just a great way to show and share your personal brand. However, not everyone is a great writer and so blogging might not be for you. Plus, blogging takes a serious time commitment to do it well. An empty blog can be worse than no blog.
The great thing is that there are platforms that can build your personal brand without the massive time and writing commitment of a blog. I think the best platforms for this are Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter is a great place to connect and engage with people across the industry. Plus, your tweets are a great showcase of your talents and your personal brand. At least it can be if that’s how you choose to use it. Certainly most people know about LinkedIn for job finding, but with LinkedIn groups you have a great opportunity to build your personal brand as well. Spending time interacting and engaging in these groups will be seen by thousands of people.
It’s really hard to predict what will result from building your personal brand, but I’ve seen first hand the value of managing your personal brand. The reality is that each one of us has a personal brand online whether we want one or not. A lot of value can be gleaned from taking some time to manage it.