Building Your Brand
WHAT IS AN ONLINE BRAND
An online brand refers to your professional image on the internet. From visual marketing tools like portfolios and infographic resumes to social media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter your online brand is comprised of any and all information created by or about you online and plays an important role in the employment process.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ONLINE BRAND
Having an online brand is critical to your job search. Employers may look to your brand when recruiting candidates or when making hiring decisions. A recent report found that 92% of employers use social media to recruit talent and 73% have hired a candidate identified or introduced through social media. If a prospective employer is unable to find you online, they may pass on your application. Your online brand allows employers to learn more about you, your experience, skills, and expertise.
IDENTIFYING YOUR EXISTING ONLINE BRAND
Start identifying and building your brand by assessing your existing online presence. Any information accessible to search engines could be visible to future employers. Google yourself, remove any objectionable content, and update any outdated information. It is worth the effort to regularly clean up your online presence because doing so can improve your candidacy.
BUILDING YOUR ONLINE BRAND
An important part of building your online brand is understanding how to use social media and visual marketing tools together. Used effectively, sites like LinkedIn and Twitter and visual marketing tools like infographic resumes and online portfolios will enable you to create a polished, professional image that helps you connect with others; demonstrate key knowledge/expertise; and allows employers and other key contacts obtain the most recent information about you. Use the brand building tools below to help you start building your brand.
EXAMPLES & RESOURCES
Examples and resources
Visit our Pinterest online branding board for inspiration, resources, and examples.
Building Your Brand: Social Media
LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional networking site with more than 175 million members in over 200 countries and territories. It is a critical brand-building tool that allows you to:
Build and manage your professional presence.
Connect professionally with classmates, faculty, family, work or internship colleagues, and other key contacts.
Find new career opportunities.
Manage and maintain your list of professional contacts.
Most professionals use and take LinkedIn seriously. While an established presence on Facebook is good, a strong, polished presence on LinkedIn can set you apart in the job market. Use the information below to start building your brand on LinkedIn.
Your profile is a summary of your professional experience, interests, and capabilities. Prospective employers may turn to your LinkedIn profile in response to your application or as they look for potential candidates. Take the following steps to create a professional profile:
• Upload your resume; share your experience and education.
• Choose a professional photo.
• Craft a profile headline.
• Write a succinct summary.
• Share your work: writing, art, etc.
• Collect recommendations.
• Be sure to proofread.
Once you complete your profile, you should build your “connections”. Consider connecting to AU classmates, internship colleagues, and your personal network of family and friends. Maintain your connections and learn who in your network works for organizations of interest to you. When building connections, be sure to personalize your invitations to connect.
Example: “Hi Peggy, I enjoyed working with you during my internship at the ABC Company. I’d love keep in touch and connect with you here on Linkedin. Best, Mary.”
EXPAND YOUR NETWORK
Grow and engage your network with LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn groups allow you to connect with like-minded people, professional organizations, alumni, and causes that interest you. Use groups to identify and engage in trending topics, follow influential people, and search for career opportunities.
Researching companies is another great way to grow your network. Following companies can help you identify contacts for informational interviews and learn about news and job openings.
Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions, and news. If you are looking to obtain internships, full-time jobs, or networking opportunities you should use Twitter to improve your industry knowledge and social media marketing skills.
Active job seekers should follow a targeted list of companies on Twitter and send tweets regularly. A professional tweet should engage employers and industries of interest. Your professional tweets should include questions, address trending topics, and/or demonstrate your subject-matter knowledge and interest.