Personal Branding: 5 Ways to Create a Personal Brand Online

Personal Branding: 5 Ways to Create a Personal Brand Online

According to career guru Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute (2014), Google is your second resume. He says,

“Some 68 percent of employers have hired a candidate because they were impressed by what Google showed them about that candidate’s skills with people, in addition to their creativity or professionalism demonstrated online, and the wide range of interests exhibited.”

Google is key to personal branding

Personal branding is an employer’s impression of you, whether online, in print, or in person. To have a consistent and positive brand, you need to control what people see online when they search for your name on Google and other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo!.

You already know what you don’t want online, like photos of drinking and rowdiness.

Here are four ways to create a positive personal brand online.

1. Complete your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn appears on top in Google when people search for your name and is the top place for your personal branding. You want your LinkedIn profile to contain everything you want to be known for. This is the most popular place recruiters look for candidates. They even post jobs there, and you can often apply right from LinkedIn.

With so many uses and users, LinkedIn is the number one place to be for most job seekers and employers.

Here are the basics.

  1. Complete your work history, education, continuing education, and awards. Include accomplishments and keywords related to the job you’re looking for now.
  2. Add interests to help people approach you.
  3. Add any papers, publications, or presentations that you can with personal or proprietary information disguised.
  4. Write a summary that shows who you serve, what you do, and how you do it.
  5. Write a creative heading with keywords people would use to find you.
  6. Join groups in your field where your potential employers or clients are, so you'll appear in their searches. Without contacts or groups in common, you'll be invisible.
  7. Connect with people you know and those who interest you by going directly to the person’s profile, reading it, and mentioning in your connection request how you know them or what you have in common.

As an example, you can see my LinkedIn profile here.

2. Complete other social media profiles

You’ll also want other links to appear when an employer Googles you. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and many others will show at the top of the results after LinkedIn.

Decide what other social media profiles you want and be active in them. Use summary information from your LinkedIn profile to help you complete your other social media profiles.

3. Create a website

A website is a great way to display your expertise. After social media profiles, your website or blog will show high up on Google+ and other search engines.

You can add your résumé and samples of your work.

4. Blog about your field

Writing your views about issues in your field shows your knowledge and involvement.

To get you started, one good blog post topic is, "Top 5 blogs in XYZ field" with your reasons. Or write about a controversial topic in your field, giving opinions on both sides, with your own conclusions at the end.

Upload your blog posts as status updates to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, or other popular social media for your field.

You can also write longer posts with a bio at the end, and upload them to LinkedIn Pulse for a wider audience.

5. Be involved in your community

If you’re involved in community events, like theater, do volunteer work, hold a board position in an organization, win an award, or make a large donation to a charity, your name will appear in any public relations about that work.

You can also make sure you appear by writing a public relations piece and sending it to your local media. If they publish your article, it will also show in search engines.

Being visible online is not hard. It just takes some time to write thoughtfully.

Let me know your questions about personal branding online

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