We are the generation of social media. For years we have defined our lives by our Facebook posts, tweets, and instagram photos. But how does that affect our quest for that perfect career?
Personal Branding is a very trendy topic these days, especially among recruiting circles. And when it comes time to start applying for jobs, internships, and more, you’re going to have to be more proactive about the way you brand yourself online.
Pro-tip: Have you ever tried googling yourself?
While it seems a little strange to stalk yourself on the interwebs, you might be surprised what you can find. For example, though students may perfectly tailor their Facebook to be very professional, a quick search of their name might reveal a news article about very unprofessional behavior they engaged in during a night downtown.
You shouldn’t just limit yourself to your name either. Sometimes a google search of your nickname, current email, and old emails can unearth little gems that you never thought you’d see again. For example, after searching my old email address from my teenage years (which I still admittedly use from time to time), I uncovered a series of incredibly embarrassing fanfiction that I wrote back in middle school. Yikes.
So make the effort to start weeding out potential bits of information you no longer want to show, sooner rather than later. For the things that you might not be able to easily erase, make sure to proactively build your personal brand into a more positive one by building a LinkedIn profile, publishing professional blog posts or articles, and participating in other activities to enhance your online reputation.
For more information about personal branding, check out this article on LinkedIn.