As a young PR professional, I am ever mindful that I should be developing my own personal brand. It is very important recent graduates entering the workforce are sure of who they are and what they stand for. A professional or recent graduate
seeking placement in the Internet age rarely get the opportunity to present his or her “story” in face-to-face interviews Rather than these individuals having the chance to explain their story to someone, the majority of our society will simply type your name into a search engine and press enter with the intention to engage their curiosity. Within moments of meeting someone, you have just been Googled.
Depending on your online presence someone searching your name into Google can be a very enlightening and positive experience. On the other hand, the images and media that are listed under your name may change the way you are viewed completely. Be sure to keep a few factors in mind while creating yourself online.
• Photos– What photos have you recently been tagged in on Facebook? Are your photos open for all your friends to see or are they secured with privacy settings? Both of these questions need to have a firm answer. Profiles on networking sites are seen as an outlet of expression. These networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter were initially designed for fun and use as a hobby. The posts and images that are shared can take their portrayal from fun to offensive in seconds. Although networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter were designed initially for fun and games or for the hobbyist, the posts and images shared can go from amusing to offensive in seconds.
• Don’t Be Surprised– The World Wide Web is highly efficient. Any type of publication, image or website that you have attached your name will be appearing when your name is placed in the search engine. Be sure to continue to Google yourself and make sure you are comfortable with the listing that shows up when the enter button is pushed. If you are not satisfied with what is at the top of the list, begin to create new media and brainstorm ways to create new publications and media to help build your brand.
• Stay Fresh– Do not think your work is complete just because you have written a few blogs and changed your privacy settings. Along with almost everything else, industries continue to evolve, and professionals like to see that you are motivated and eager to keep up.
•Digital Portfolio– Set yourself apart from the rest and create an online digital portfolio to showcase your work. As I said above, stay fresh, try to update and rearrange your portfolio regularly; this is a simple task. With a digital portfolio you are able to have current and past blog entries, images, writing samples, shared links and more.
Do not let this concept intimidate you. Get comfortable with looking yourself up online so you know what to expect. If you are unhappy with the results, you will find it is not too late to change them. Follow these steps and continue to monitor what your name is validly attached to. Take those few moments to Google yourself before someone else does.