If you want to have a serious professional career, your personal brand matters. People are constantly looking for you online – whether it is to assess your credibility and background, to find someone for a job or simply to find a link to refer you to a friend. The bottom line is that people are looking for you – and what they find impacts how they perceive you.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, consultant, business professional, job seeker, author or just graduating from college, investing in your personal brand is one of the best investments that you can make.
That being said, many people completely fail at personal branding.
Here is how:
1) You haven’t fully updated your LinkedIn
It really isn’t that hard to update your LinkedIn. You have no excuse. Having a mediocre LinkedIn isn’t acceptable. It is the top thing that shows up when people search for you. I’ve seen countless college kids with amazing LinkedIn profiles (and they are getting amazing jobs because of it), yet countless professionals and job seekers have terrible profiles.
2) You don’t have a professional headshot
Seriously, it isn’t the 90’s where only top-executives can get great headshots because you have to hire a professional. Don’t use a wedding photo or a picture with someones arm cut out. Get a professional looking photo – just schedule a photo day with some friends.
3) Your username on social networks is ridiculous
When I made my first blog it was www.thisiswhyImhot.wordpress.com (yes, This Is Why I’m Hot). It seemed funny at the time. My first blog and Twitter handle were Kribaby. Seemed reasonable enough at the time. BUT it isn’t professional, and it is only funny to a handful of people.
4) Your email account has an equally ridiculous name
In college, a friend of mine who had the last name “Fung” used the email account [email protected] – even in college it resulted in some embarrassing moments. Grow up. Get a real email address with no numbers. BONUS: Get your own domain name (website) and use that for your email. You’ll look like a savvy pro.
5) You can’t be easily found
Studies show that most people you meet will search for you online. I’ve had everyone from boyfriends parents to potential clients search for me online and I am easy to find. Make sure that people can easily find you. BONUS: make sure that everything they find makes you look amazing.