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January 20, 2015 By integrate

Presenting Yourself Professionally

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As the new year continues along, it is exciting to see so many professionals using their new years resolutions to tackle their personal social media presences. Of course, it is incredibly important for brands to have a strong online presence, as we discuss on this blog regularly, but your personal online brand is just as essential.

As our tech-savvy world becomes more and more mainstream, maintaining a professional, active and unique online presence is the new norm. Just as businesses dedicate time and resources to portray the right image for their brands on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, we should all do the same on our personal social media profiles. As a social media aficionado, see below for a few pointers on how to best present yourself on LinkedIn, Facebook, and your personal website or blog.                                                                        

LinkedIn: This is my personal favorite business-oriented social media platform as it can help to boost a professional image in addition to showcase skills and accomplishments. If you’re not already on board with LinkedIn, let 2015 be the year you do so.

~ Keep in mind that this is an online resume that requires constant engagement and updating, so make sure to include a clear, high-res professional photo (not a selfie).

~ Include your personal identity by adding a profile summary that’s no longer than 2,000 characters. This gives recruiters, employers, business associates and colleagues a glimpse of your personality and complements your     curriculum vitae.

~ When connecting with new professionals, take it one step further by personalizing LinkedIn email requests and allowing the receiver to get a better idea of who you are and why you are reaching out.

Facebook: It’s important to never underestimate the power of your image on Facebook, for both business and personal accounts. The fact is, the way you portray yourself on Facebook can define whether you get a job and how colleagues or business associates view you. Knowing your audience is more important on this channel than ever before.

~ Always keep your contact information updated and include relevant personal information about yourself in your bio that you would want business colleagues to know.

~ Include professional aspirations by creating photo albums that include inspirational quotes on your Facebook page or join groups that are relevant to your career interests. For example, there are professional PR groups on Facebook, such as PRSA Houston New Professionals or Houston Digital Jobs, that serve as valuable outlets for aspiring PR and social media professionals in Houston to join.

     ~ We read an interesting article last week on a teenager’s perspective on social media channels and his perspective of Facebook was very thought provoking. “Facebook is often used by us mainly for its group functionality. I know plenty of classmates who only go on Facebook to check the groups they are part of and then quickly log off.” With that said, research the groups that fit the best with your career interests and join!

~ Keep in mind what you want business professionals to see on your profile and update privacy settings accordingly. Facebook has made it easier to manage privacy settings by giving users the option to customize viewership on each section on your profile.  For example, you can now choose which items to have visible on your timeline to various sets of audiences and have the option to hide any information that you would prefer to remain private. Simply click on the post and select “hide from page.”  or, adjust your settings by what you want your friends to see on your private profile vs. what is shown publicly.

Website/Blog: Maintaining a well-respected image on a personal website requires different factors including constantly updated content, a presentable, organized and optimized site, and most importantly, time.

~ Set time aside to add new content to your website, and tailor the content depending on the audience you would like to attract. An hour or two each week should be sufficient if you are savvy on the web.

~ Include your social media links to your webpage to allow your audience to easily connect with you once they are wowed by everything you have to say on your blog.

~ Projecting a professional image via a personal website means always having an error-free, user-friendly website for your audience to follow. Always check for broken links, and avoid grammatical errors. This is highly essential, as it affects the way that you are perceived by any business professional.

With that said, learn the best way to convey your personal brand and start 2015 with a bang! If you have any other tips or suggestions we should all focus on when maintaining a professional online personal presence, please share on our Facebook page!

 

Written By Stefanie Pascacio