Online Personal Brand

Original Spanish version published in America Economia (Latin America) on September 23, 2015

According to the latest Social Media Study carried out by LHH DBM Peru, 52 percent of executives say they have hired employees they contacted through one of the social media platforms. This number is higher among HR executives, where 72 percent say they have hired employees contacted through social media. One of the main conclusions of the study is that HR executives see social media as a tool for getting to know, contacting, and even hiring talent.

This scenario demands that we manage our online personal brand, whether we are looking for a job or not. Social media platforms are the first go-to source of information when we need to know about who we work with at the office and who our clients, colleagues, bosses, and suppliers are. Here are some ideas on how to manage our personal brand in this media.

  1. Online Status Diagnosis: We are on online, whether we want to be or not. Find out what is said about you. Google your name on a regular basis and try to eliminate any content that is inconsistent with the online brand you wish to present, which is not always easy. Nowadays, when we meet or hear about someone, all of us look for their name in Google or LinkedIn and review the information, including, of course, pictures.
  2. Develop an Assertive Marketing Plan. This plan must include how we want to position ourselves and our skills and experience, always in keeping with what we want from our career, where we are going, how far we want to go, what we would like to do, and so on. The challenge is to have a record that is consistent with the professional image we have of ourselves. Let’s use the Internet to communicate that identity to the world.
  3. Keep Our Profiles Updated: LinkedIn is the first source of information on someone in the professional world: executives hiring talent through social networks do so mainly through LinkedIn, according to the LHH DBM Peru study. Our profile must be complete and be carefully reviewed and updated every two months. A good current professional photo is crucial, as well as a truthful and continuously updated and current resume, ideally with some recommendations.
  4. Create Content, Share Knowledge and Experiences: Select blogs to follow, written by experts in your profession or industry. Share comments when you have professional knowledge or ideas that add to the discussion. What is important is not being anonymous or indifferent but creating content and contributing something for others to grow, learn, and get to know. If you are looking for a job, post your resume in job banks specializing in your profession or industry.
  5. Keep Your Online Activity Professional and Positive: Do not weaken your career by posting inappropriate material on the Internet. We have to be very careful about what we post and where we post it. A large percentage of companies have not hired people because of what they found out about them in social media: negative or hostile comments, attitudes, or behaviors.

Finally, if we do not proactively manage our personal brand online, we are wasting an important opportunity to create an identity consistent with our long-term career plan. The key is to always maintain a very professional and positive identity, even on very personal networks such as Facebook. Our image and reputation are the result of our integrity, and we must be equally reputable and upright both professionally and personally. The web is a showcase where everything is public and everything remains forever.

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