To be able to compete against others in the job market today, it is an absolute necessity to have an online presence. Creating a good online image for yourself can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few shortcuts to help you quickly and efficiently make sure you present yourself the best way possible online.
Keep account names and handles professional. Your name on any social media site is the first impression others will have of you online. The easiest choice is to use your full name or a variation of it (such as the first initial of your first name followed by your full last name) as your account name. If your name is already taken, consider using a simple combination of numbers with your name or a word that relates to your career field.
Create one biography for all social media profiles. Just about every social media site asks for you to write an “About Me” or biography section. Writing one biography that you can insert into all of your online accounts will help to save you time and ensure you represent yourself consistently on every site. You might need to create more than one version of your biography of varying lengths depending on the platform you are using. For example, Twitter only gives you 160 characters, whereas Facebook and LinkedIn allow for greater length. Be sure your biography reflects your personal brand.
Add a picture to all of your online profiles. Adding a picture is one quick and easy way to legitimize your online presence. Even if you don’t complete every aspect of a social media profile, including a picture creates the illusion that your profile is complete or near complete. Just as you did with your biography, you can choose one picture to use on all social media sites to save you time and create consistency online. The picture you choose doesn’t have to be taken by a professional photographer, but should be a nice-looking photo of you, cropped fairly close to your head and shoulders, and have a neutral background.
Keep your experience up-to-date. Did you just graduate college? Complete an internship? Start a new job? Be sure to make the necessary changes to your online profiles and website if you have one. Any time you make a change to your resume you should also make changes to your skills and experience shown online.
Find people you know. Having a complete profile or account alone will only get you so far, so reach out to people you know on social media sites. Friend your friends on Facebook, connect colleagues and employers on LinkedIn and follow people on Twitter. This will not only reveal more about your social and communication skills to potential employers, but it’s also an easy way to keep in contact with people in your network.
Are there any other hassle-free ways you use to keep your online presence a positive one?