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Building a Personal Brand: How to Boost Your Online Presence When Job Hunting





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You may not know it, but if you have any sort of online presence, you’ve already built a personal brand. Whether you’re on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, your chosen social media channels can say a lot about who you are.

And, the information that’s available about you as a result – whether it’s an impressive portfolio or a dodgy tweet – can be make or break for recruiters, who love a quick Google of their prospective candidates to see what the results throw up.

As Liz Sebag-Montefiore, Director of HR Consultancy 10Eighty, says: “a great CV will increase your chances of getting an interview. It’s an art rather than a science.” And though this is definitely true, sprucing up your online presence can help out your job hunt a great deal too, as Nabila Salem, President at Revolent Group, expands on: “establishing a personal brand ensures you not only stand out, but makes you more memorable as a candidate.”

For recent graduates and young professionals applying for a job, be sure to use these top tips to create an impressive personal brand with your online presence that’s going to knock the socks off the next recruiter that Googles you.

LinkedIn should be your go-to channel for improving your online presence. The largest professional community on the internet, the potential to stand out and look attractive is huge – providing you know what you’re doing. Along with a strong, professional-looking profile photo, here’s what else you should be doing:

  • Customise your profile’s URL to display your name rather than the usual random string of numbers.
  • Use your headline to grab recruiters’ attention. Show your professional aspirations or signal you’re looking for new opportunities to stand out from others.
  • Ask supervisors and colleagues for endorsements and recommendations – and be sure to return the favour.

Create a work-friendly Twitter

Creating a work-friendly Twitter that lets recruiters know of your recent achievements is a good idea for a few reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates consistency with your LinkedIn profile, showing a strong sense of personal branding that makes it easier for employers to connect with you, which provides plenty of opportunity for networking.

Secondly, it ensures that your online presence remains professional. By keeping things work-friendly, you’ll avoid making any missteps or saying the wrong thing. Profane or offensive tweets reflect poorly on you, and could easily be the deciding factor for a recruiter to throw your application in the bin.

Show off your skills with a personal website

If you’ve a body of work that you’re proud of, then it makes sense to let everyone be able to see what you’ve produced. Whether you’re a talented writer, a dedicated blogger, or someone with a knack for graphic design, then be sure to create a portfolio that illustrates your talents to whoever your audience may be.

Try using free-to-use sites like WordPress and Wix to create a website that sums up who you are and shows off your skills. They’re straightforward and simple to use, but the results can be hugely beneficial, presenting your work and achievements in stunning layouts.

Filter your images

Though Facebook is a great way of staying connected with friends, family and, yes, even businesses, you more than likely set up your profile in your younger, wilder years. Which means one or two, shall we say, unprofessional images of yourself may turn up in a recruiter’s search. If these don’t represent the carefully cultivated professional image of who you are today, then it’s a good idea to go back through your Facebook photos, deleting or untagging yourself in these less-than-ideal pictures. Be sure to check your friends’ Facebook walls too – there’s a good chance a pic of you looking a little too drunk might crop up.

Be mindful of what you post online

Although posting about career achievements and your chosen industry is good, you want your personality to shine through too; you’re only human after all. Post pictures of your family and friends, talk about your favourite sports teams, and tweet what you’ve been up to recently. Doing so makes you appear genuine and creates a more well-rounded representation of who you are.

The trick, however, is to keep it clean. Obviously, there are certain things that are going to put off recruiters. Err on the side of caution when posting anything online, employers don’t always look kindly on anything that might be deemed controversial, so tweet lightly.

Google yourself

If you aren’t sure about how you’re currently presented online, or you want to see how you might be perceived after cleaning up your personal brand, then be sure to Google yourself. If it’s the latter, then you can see how high up in the result page rankings you are, and how frequently your name pops up too. These are the results you want your recruiters to see.

On the other hand, use your Googling to do some more damage control. It’s possible to have these compromising results removed from Google entirely if you feel they’re particularly harmful to your personal branding. Follow the simple steps here to ensure your online presence stays squeaky clean.

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