As the digital world is expanding, the way in which employers search for new recruits is changing. As a student on the cusp of joining the professional world, I am keen to develop my own professional identity in order to give myself the best chance of success. So, for purely selfish reasons, I have decided to put together a step-by-step guide on how to create your own authentic, online professional identity.
Step 1. Decide what your goal is.
Who are you trying to impress? What type of job are you looking for? What kind of impression do you want to create?
Being cautious as to what you put online is never a bad thing as jokes can be taken the wrong way, pictures misconstrued or controversial pages all adding to build a negative picture of who you are (watch this satirical video about the private information of Presidential candidates being hacked).
However you do want to stand out from the crowd, so having some opinions and interests is beneficial to showing people who you are.
Step 2. Create accounts for your online identity.
You must put your information out there. If future employers Google you then you want them to be able to find you. Consider buying a domain name for your own personal website on which you can direct them to all your other social network sites. Join sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (94% of recruiters used LinkedIn as their primary research tool for new employees, Jobvite, 2013). Your online identity is like your own personal brand and must be developed, try to remain consistent throughout all the different sites to make it easier for employees to find you and make sure to provide links to your other sites. Think of managing your career like an entrepreneur, and look for new opportunities through these networking sites.
Step 3. Keep it simple.
A man named Adam Pacitti put his website on a billboard with the one request, that people help him get a job. He used simplicity and humour to capture the interest of his target audience and repetition to ensure they remembered his name.
Step 4. Be patient.
Building your professional online identity takes time and will not happen overnight. Continue to update your profiles, even using tutorials to present yourself most effectively. There are infinite ways of expanding your online presence once you start so don’t hang around, get started today!
Jobvite. (2013). Social recruiting survey results. Retrieved from http://web.jobvite.com/rs/jobvite/images/Jobvite_2013_SocialRecruitingSurveyResults.pdf
Jonak, A. (2013, January 3). Case study: Lessons from “employ Adam”. Simple Sells. Retrieved from http://simplesells.tumblr.com/post/39581510026/employadam
Pacitti, A. (2013). http://employadam.com/press.html
Schawbel, B. (2011). 5 reasons why your online presence will replace your resume in 10 years. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2011/02/21/5-reasons-why-your-online-presence-will-replace-your-resume-in-10-years/
The Onion. (2012, April 26). Report: Every potential 2040 president already unelectable due to Facebook. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2bniFJigI0