Almost 4.57 billion people were active on the internet as of July 2020, which includes 59% of the entire world population. We are all using the internet like never before, especially during coronavirus, to connect, share, comment, apply for jobs, and bond with new people. The internet has transcended simply being helpful for sharing photos, and has become integral to just about everything we do today.
Therefore, your online presence and how you choose to present yourself to the world is incredibly valuable. It can make or break your future, your potential, and your job prospects. As I mentioned earlier, almost three-fourths of companies are looking at your social media profiles before they choose to bring you in for a second interview. What do they see when they take in your online presence?
Naturally, there are a lot of places to provide your content today. How do you choose which social media apps to use? You can’t possibly make content for 15 different sites, per day, right? That is correct. You don’t want to dilute yourself or your brand – your content will become less authentic and engaging.
Your online presence is going to look different depending on which mediums you choose. However, we are going to recommend three essential places to be sharing content and reaffirming your professional today:
Known as the “professional networking social media platform,” LinkedIn has solidified itself as the go-to place for making yourself a professional. It’s the ultimate site for defining your brand as a serious, working adult. You can network in groups, share posts, publish your own LinkedIn articles, and bolster up your profile to be a living, breathing resume. What are some other ways to ensure your LinkedIn is converting for you, every time?
- Your Skills: What are the industry skills needed for your future job? Recruiters will often use LinkedIn with a keyword search for skills required for their job. It’s important to feature industry terms in your profile, including the headline, summary, and job descriptions. If you want that job as a fashion editor, then they are going to be looking up: editor, fashion, managing editor, journalist, fashion journalist, etc. Be sure your profile is filled with the right keywords.
- The Data: If you can provide some quantification at times, it’s going to bode well for you. How many projects have you completed to date? How many articles? Provide some actual data and empirical evidence on your profile that can help a recruiter get a feel for how serious and eager to work you are.
- Comprehensiveness: LinkedIn allows you to put a ton of stuff on your profile. From a summary and past job experiences, to linked article features, published articles, endorsements, hobbies, and more, don’t leave any stones unturned. If you leave part of your profile blank, it will communicate an unwillingness to follow through. Convince them that you are the person they should hire.
- Crisp Imagery: Please, do not use an unprofessional or blurry photo as your LinkedIn profile picture. Use a professionally shot portrait. This can be done in any local photography studio. It will immediately tell the profile viewer that you are serious and you mean business.
- Thought Leadership: Even if you’re not a good writer, it’s worth writing LinkedIn Articles in your industry niche. You can always hire freelance editors to clean up the article before you publish it. These articles make you look like an expert and someone who is passionate about your industry. It also shows you’re not afraid to put in the extra work and go above and beyond.
- Giving Back: Recruiters want to see some personality and that you spend your time doing things that enrich the community around you. By being part of our Honor Society, you can add your participating in our community as part of your profile. An honor society accreditation implies you are hardworking, smart, and willing to volunteer. Truly, you can never have enough community-oriented attributes on your LinkedIn profile.
Note: Be sure to update your LinkedIn monthly. Many times, people will ignore their LinkedIn for months while big changes occur in their professional lives.
Twitter is a great social media platform for highlighting and building upon your industry expertise. Instead of using the app for trolling people and firing out insults at past coworkers, why not use Twitter to your advantage? Try to incorporate your personal brand into your Twitter bio by using those key hashtags again. Look them up and follow others in your space that you aspire to be like – what kind of bio do they have? What kind of hashtags to they use?
Remember that every tweet is a part of your professional image. Would you feel comfortable if your boss read every tweet on your profile? If not, consider cleaning it up and deleting any negative tweets that show a different side to you.
Additional Twitter tips:
- The Cover Image: Consider using a freelancing site to have a cover image made for your Twitter profile. It can be a picture of you formatted with your tagline or your passions. If not, use a blank color or a professional photo that is crisp and clear.
- Tweet Often: Tweeting is easy and can be done in seconds. Take time to tweet every day about something in your industry. Even if it’s just retweeting another article, this will tell recruiters you are passionate about your industry and actively engaged in reading about it.
- Follow Experts: Twitter is a great place to follow the experts in your industry. See what they are tweeting about. What are the latest trends or considerations? You can learn about it first on Twitter and head over to LinkedIn where you can write about it.
- The Bio Link: Twitter allows you to link to one website in your bio. Where should that link to? Your personal website, of course!
A major component of building an online presence and brand is having your own personal website. Websites aren’t just for clothing stores and blogs anymore – they are a great way to solidify your brand, grow your prospects, and feature your accomplishments.
Where do you get started with having your own website? For starters, you can create one on: Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. Many come with a few free templates you can use to build the site. Membership costs are usually $8 to $12 per month. The sites will bring you through a step-by-step building process to ensure all of the information is filled out.
You can also use helpful resources like Canva and Venngage’s logo templates to get started with your graphic elements. Be sure to pick two to three colors that you use with everything. This will help recruiters get a feel for your “brand” that they can reference at a later date.
Additional tips when making your own personal website:
- Keep it Simple: No one wants to sift through essays and confusing interfaces on a website. Keep it light, brief, and easy to follow. Use white as your main website color and allow the few spots of text to speak for themselves.
- Rely on Imagery: Humans are highly visual creatures. That’s why pictures improve website conversion rates by 65%. It’s easier for us to feel connected to someone through a photo than it is a paragraph. These photos will make it easy for recruiters to see you, and really, get to know you through your website. Don’t shy away from plenty of bright, crisp imagery.
- Back Up Your Expertise: Reaffirm your expertise in an industry by linking to your press coverage. If you don’t have any, consider writing and sending out a press release about yourself to news outlets you can post to the site. Additionally, write your own articles and add a blog tab to the website. This is where you can show-off your industry passion and knowledge.
- Keep it Modest: It’s always good to flaunt it, but within reason. Don’t make the website one big obsession pulpit for you and your accomplishments. Instead, make it more so about how you can help other people and impact your industry with what you’ve done and accomplished so far. Shift the spotlight off of yourself so the website is more approachable.
What should appear on my home page?
If you’re not a web designer, you are probably wondering what exactly should appear on your home page. Here are some key elements that will make your brand irresistible to those dropping by:
- A Professional Logo: Since this is a personal brand, it can merely be your name in a special cursive font. You can also consider a logo related to a brand that you market yourself behind. Let’s say you’re passionate about sustainable thrifting. You may have a brand, “The Thrifted Closet” that you brand synonymously with yourself. There’s no harm in having a logo made for that!
- Your Value Proposition: You need to be able to communicate, in one sentence, who you help, how you help them, and what makes you unique. This should be near the top of the page.
- Images of YOU: Forget the stock images, no one wants to see them. Provide imagery of you throughout the page.
- Social Proof: Feature a feed of your recent social media posts to highlight your activity in the industry.
- Call-to-Action: Give the website visitor a clear next step. “Click here” to learn more about a blog, article, availability, etc. This will implore the website visitors to give you a call about a potential job opening.
What About Other Social Media Sites?
We can’t forget about Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. All of the same rules go for these sites: post professional content, use the same colors if possible, and position yourself as someone who is passionate about your industry. Remember that every social media profile you have is fair game to a recruiter, which is why you will want to consider making them private if you are not putting your usual branding effort into their presentation. But, if you are going to take your time with these sites and make them part of your story, then they can certainly augment your online presence.
Honor Society Vanity URL
Here at Honor Society, we understand the importance of an online presence, which is why we provide all members with a descriptive profile and vanity URL. It’s an easy way to extend the professionalism of your online image, as well as communicate what you are serious about. If you want to check out an example, click the link here: https://www.honorsociety.org/members/mike-moradian.
Next, let’s look at the details related to your own personal, physical image.