How you appear on the Internet is a huge part of your personal brand. Sure, there are some things you don’t have control over. But much of your online brand relies on you creating an accurate representation of yourself on social networking sites.The most important piece of signing up for a social networking site is completing your profile—which many people neglect to do.
Here are a few ways to ensure your profile will receive a second glance:
Add as much detail as possible. Fill in your experience, employers, volunteer work and skills. Include any keywords that are relevant to your field or industry. When recruiters or hiring managers are searching for potential candidates, they will be searching for specific position-related keywords—the only way you’ll be found is if those are included in your profile. It’s okay to list these somewhere near the bottom of your profile (on LinkedIn, take advantage of the “interests” section or place several keywords in your title or summary). Also, utilize applications to share other professional information, such as portfolio pieces, presentations, photos, or books you’ve read.
Ask for recommendations and reference letters. Throughout your career, ask your supervisors and colleagues to write recommendations about your work. On LinkedIn, request recommendations for the various positions you’ve held. Ask them to be specific about what you accomplished at the organization and why someone should hire you in the future.
Maintain consistency across multiple networking sites. If you maintain several online profiles, they all need to be consistent. That’s not to say they have to be the exactly the same. Each site will be slightly different in layout and emphasis. However, your dates of employment, job titles, and accomplishments should match up.
Include links to relevant websites and resources. If you have a resume on your online profile, make sure to include links to each organization’s website. If you’ve been published online, include those links to showcase your writing skills. Do you have favorite blogs or news sites that you follow? List those to show your interest in and dedication to your industry.
Show you’re a real person. Include a recent picture on your online profile. Interact with others on the platform by commenting on what they share, congratulating them on new ventures, and building relationships. Show you have a personality, interests, and a life outside of work.