Building a professional yet original online presence can be tricky. With many platforms available to showcase your abilities, as well as and having to moderate your content between social groups and professional connections, the digital space can be 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.
If you’re reading this article, you already have an online presence! You probably subscribed to the TalentEgg newsletter, or maybe you are following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. In the digital world we live in today, having a presence online can be crucial to finding career opportunities, networking, and of course learning. With the many online platforms available to showcase your experience and work, not all of them are necessary to have. Hopefully this article will give you some ideas on how to get started or take your online presence to the next level!
Professional email account
This should go without saying — please make sure you have a professional email account when applying for jobs and when networking. Something simple and straightforward like your first name and last name or some simple variation of your name or initials is perfect. You may also want to include an effective email signature including your current position, expected graduation, degree, and school for extra clarity. Organized information about yourself makes it easier for people to get in contact with you and will come across as very professional. Bonus points for you!
LinkedIn is a widely popular platform to share your past and current work experiences. This platform also allows you to share professional ideas with like-minded individuals, keep track of all your connections you’ve made through networking, and professionally keep in touch with recruiters, industry professionals, professors, and your peers. LinkedIn is also great for finding jobs and connecting with the recruiters hiring for these jobs! When creating your profile, keep things very professional. Remember — anyone can see your profile, so a professional headshot is necessary along with descriptive bullet points on your past experiences. Leave the vacation photos to Facebook and keep LinkedIn strictly for work/school related content, experiences and professional development.
I enjoy having a professional Twitter account where I can share my thoughts on industry topics and what I am working on at school or work. When I was applying to jobs posted on campus, I would also tweet the hiring employer if they were having a hashtag competition at their networking event. Having a presence on Twitter contributes to your personal brand especially if you want to build a portfolio focused on social media.
Speaking of social media, everyone is on Instagram these days! Instagram gives you the opportunity to share photos with friends, colleagues and the wider public if your account is public. If you have a lot of followers, perhaps you’ve already begun to monetize your follower base as an influencer. I enjoy Instagram-ing my food adventures, and I was surprised when my former manager told me to showcase my food Instagram on my resume. I later discovered in interviews that this was a great talking point and also allowed me to showcase my knowledge of photography, social media marketing, and =food! If you have a hobby, consider creating an Instagram page and growing it! You never know where it may take you in the future.
Having a personal website or a blog can be a good space to amalgamate all your profiles. Here, you can showcase your work experience, key projects, photos, graphic design, thoughts on your areas of expertise…the sky’s the limit. Just make sure it fits into your personal brand, and as always keep it professional!
Start by thinking of your personal brand: what defines you and how do you want others to see you? Then, decide on which platforms would best assist you in digitally bringing your brand to life. You may not need all of these platforms because you have to keep in mind that they all require regular maintenance and interactions to keep them up to date. Start with one platform and build up from there! If you feel you need to have separate accounts for your personal life vs. work life, then go for it. But don’t get too caught up in completely leaving out anything fun in your professional digital world! More often than not, companies are hiring for cultural fit and that your core values align – so be true to yourself and let your personality shine through.