In this post I will talk about my current “Personal Brand” and how Social Media can be extremely useful in order to improve it.
Your “Personal Brand” is a key aspect for your professional aspirations, as the information that companies and recruiters can find about you on the Internet can affect your employability. For this reason, I’m going to write about my personal situation and how I can use some social networks for attracting recruiters and for making me a better candidate for certain positions.
The first thing a potential or current employer will do is Google your name and see what the results are. Hence, it is desirable to appear as a serious person with a set of skills and knowledge that makes you the best candidate for the job. The problems arise when you have been using social networks in an inappropriate way (e.g. uploading certain type of pictures to Facebook or writing polemic tweets). You should be aware that this is happening, but this doesn’t mean that you have to “hide” all your online profiles so the companies wouldn’t be able to find you. What I’m trying to say is that every individual has to be responsible of the image they want to show to the rest of the world.
In addition, some people may think that the best option is to delete all your accounts but this is not a good strategy either. The reason for this is quite straight forward. If a recruiter looks for you on the Internet and that person doesn’t find anything about you, then you are likely to be rejected. This means that you have to ask yourself what kind of information you would like to appear in the first place when someone “googles” you. To illustrate this, I have “googled” myself and the first thing that appeared was my LinkedIn profile, followed by dissertation for my Mechanical Engineering degree. This is a good sign for two main reasons: I always try t keep my LinkedIn profile up to date and besides, I was awarded First Class with Distinction for that dissertation. Apart from that, I also appeared in a newsletter from the MiNMaT (which stands for Micro and Nano-Materials and Technology at University of Surrey).
Now, in order to improve my “Personal Brand” and increase my social impact, I have created a Twitter account (@CarranzaEngd) which is directly related to his blog and my LinkedIn profile. This specific social network allows you to interact with people who have your same interests and it also allows you to post short updates and share relevant news. According to some experts, just by “tweeting” a few times per day, your “Personal Brand” can experiment a huge improvement. On the other hand you will always find people who only use Twitter to state what they have had for breakfast and some other irrelevant and unprofessional contents. Therefore it is up to you whether you want to use this powerful tool as a way to enhance your employability and expertise or you prefer to use it as something completely personal.
To sum up, I would like to say that there are many other social networks which can be used for causing a bigger impact on your professional field (e.g. Pinterest, Flickr…), but for my particular case (and for the stage in which I am in my research) I think that developing this blog together with my Twitter account and LinkedIn profile is an excellent start for improving my “professional online image”.