We talk a lot about building your brand and taking advantage of several networking and online activities, but how often do you actually take advantage or these techniques or services? This weekend, I challenge you to sit down for no more than an an hour or two and do some personal “research and development”. This will be the first of a two part R&D post. Please complete and/or make sure your profiles are up to date with this more “introductory” post in order to take full advantage of next week’s post.
I’d recommend focusing a majority of your attention on LinkedIn. If you need some help getting started, feel free to reference one of my previous posts on how to beef up your LinkedIn profile. By utilizing LinkedIn, your ability to network and create a professional digital footprint increases. What do I mean by digital footprint? If and when recruiters google your name, LinkedIn is usually one of the higher ranking websites which gives you the opportunity of being seen; therefore it increases your online presence. Also, having an up to date and professional LinkedIn profile will keep your contacts aware of what you are up to.
Next, focus your attention on Facebook and/or Twitter account(s). While these social networking sites provides some opportunities, I feel like you should take a “damage control” approach. I wrote a post about creating a recruitment-friendly Facebook page, which should be a good starting point. I’ve heard too many horror stories about both Facebook and Twitter damaging personal brands and causing issues at both work and school. Remember, you’re publishing your thoughts, pictures and videos for the world to see… Be smart about it!
Finally, I would recommend that you buy “yourname.com”. You can buy domains through popular sites like GoDaddy.com. There are several advantages to buying your personal domain. First, you will have the ability to control your Google search results; more specifically, when recruiters search your name on google, “youname.com” will be the first result (obviously this depends on the popularity of your name: John Schroepfer vs John Smith). Second, by spending roughly $8/year on your domain name and having the ability to rank extremely high on Google search, you have the opportunity to present a professional portfolio (www.johnnyschroepfer.com). By controlling your Google results and presenting an informative portfolio, you convey to recruiters that you’re professional, tech savvy and serious about your career.
Next week I will write a R&D (Part 2) post that explains how to set up “yourname.com” and how to increase your online visibility. Please complete this weekend challenge in order to take full advantage of next week’s post!
Johnny Schroepfer is a Integrated Marketing Communications Graduate Student at Northwestern University. He is currently the Strategy & Content Director at the Medill Vitamin IMC Blog: http://www.vitaminimc.com. Connect with Johnny on Twitter @jbschroe or visit his website:http://www.johnnyschroepfer.com.