Today, a digital presence is a must when entering the job market. But creating a professional yet original and creative online presence can be tricky. There are so many platforms available which makes it all the more confusing to navigate. However, there are many things you can consider when building an online presence depending on what you want to achieve and your comfort level online. I have broken an online presence into three fields. Let’s get started!
FIRST thing first, have a professional email account when networking or seeking a job. It must be simple, easy to remember and please make sure that it is professional. All students have a educational email but I would recommend avoiding using it for career related emails. Although another inbox for you to check, it is for the better. Many of us have computer generated educational emails that are not right for forming a digital presence. This also allows your email to follow you after school. In the same breath (well email account), create a proper email signature. Brownie Points!
LinkedIn is possibly my favourite social media platform and is the go-to for hundreds of thousands of professionals! It is the best way to keep track of all your connections whether made through school, work or networking events. It allows you to keep in touch with recruiters, industry professionals, professors, and your peers. Tricky spot is that anyone can see your profile, so professionalism is key. Make sure that your public information is something that you are comfortable with sharing. Leave the family photos to Facebook! Speaking of social media, I would suggest a professional Instagram page. It doesn’t have to be all headshots or networking events, but instead conversation pieces. It brings a whack of different skills and can act as a fun conversation starter. I have an equestrian dominated Insta right now but will be following my own advice in the month to come.
Many of us have something to say. LinkedIn is a great platform, but so it a professional Twitter page or Blog. Twitter is a great way to keep up with jobs and companies that you are interested in, as well as events (Facebook too!). Keep an eye out for hashtag/Twitter contests as well as they are fun and a great way to interact with companies. Having a presence on Twitter contributes to your personal brand especially if you want to build a portfolio focused on social media. Then comes blogging… Like Twitter in paragraph version! Having a personal blog is a LOT of fun. But is also the perfect platform to amalgamate all your profiles. You can share ideas, helpful articles, experiences, past projects and thoughts on your areas of interest. Write whatever! Keep it professional and use it to help shape your personal brand.
One of the next posts that I will be sharing will be about building your personal brand as a student. But since you are here, let’s get you started with three questions.
1) What defines (insert name here)?
2) What is your purpose?
3) What is your image? (If someone took a photo of you, what would you want them to see?)
Like everything though, focus on quality over quantity. Don’t start 17 platforms and not maintain them. Regular maintenance and building interactions are key. If you feel safer, you can have separate accounts for your personal life vs. work life but remember to integrate them where possible. Let your personality shine and check back for my post about building a personal brand!