Your online personal brand is just as relevant as your resume — if not more.
Nowadays, companies want to know who you are. People hire other people that they’d like. A brilliant digital footprint allows your personality to shine brightly before you step foot in the interview. Your resume may be stellar, but it won’t capture their interest like your online persona can.
Here are 3 ways to make your online personal brand pop:
1. Enhance your social media strategy
According to the Pew Research Center, 86 percent of people aged 18 – 29 use at least one social media site. No matter what site(s) you’re on, it’s important to tell a digital story that you’re proud of.
Start by reflecting on what you want people to think, feel and know about you when they look at your social media profile. Try this exercise — set a timer for three minutes and write down words that describe your personality, interests, aspirations, experience, societal roles, etc. These words outline your personal brand and the type of content you should post online.
Next, do some spring cleaning to your social media profiles and delete anything that doesn’t fit with your personal brand. Photos and posts about your drunken college nights, F boy exes, or dreadful coworkers don’t belong in your new and improved online presence.
Also, think about how you want your social media feed to look. You can really get creative with your Instagram by strategizing what type of posts you publish when. For instance, you could have an entire row that has quotes or create a border around certain photos for consistency. You could also use a certain color theme or create art with your photo layout.
2. Spruce up your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn makes networking, especially reaching out to strangers, much easier. It’s a must to have a profile, but there are ways to take yours to the next level.
Start by reading your profile from top to bottom as if you are viewing it for the first time. Then think about what copy you can make more concise or engaging, and what sections need to be updated.
Customizing your professional headline is a great way to spruce up your profile. This is the line that appears directly below your name. Although it’s common to list your work role, that isn’t a must as long is it captures who you are and what your personal brand is. Use keywords and traits that are specific to your industry in your professional headline to make your profile stand out.
3. Create or update your website/portfolio
Make sure the basics are on the website — a well-written bio, professional photos, work experience, contact information and social media presence. You can also add more personal photos of your hobbies and interests to your site, such as traveling or volunteering.
If you already have a website, review these elements to make sure they are still on-brand for you based on the exercise previously mentioned. Jazz up your bio with those keywords that describe you.
No worries if you don’t currently have a website! There are many easy-to use platforms to create one including WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, AboutMe and so much more. The platforms function differently, so be sure to do your research to find what works for you.
Your digital footprint is an extension of who you are, so make sure it’s something you’re proud of no matter who finds it online.
Lifestyle blogger and published author Teyonna Ridgeway is dedicated to helping people recognize their beauty and unleash their brilliance. By day the Atlanta native works in social media marketing, and by night she drops gems about career, travel, faith and life as a Millennial on BecomingBrilliance.com. She also makes homemade natural body butters and sugar scrubs through her Etsy shop, Gail’s Goods. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @TeyonnaLanez.