Personal Branding – What Does Your Online Profile Say About You?

These days, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or Linkedin, everyone has a presence on social media. Many people use multiple platforms, picking up on the different style of each. Clients are becoming wiser to social media and often search for the profiles of both their prospective employees and their professional contacts. As such, it’s worth asking yourself what your profile might reveal about you.


Facebook is for friends!

Keep your private life away from prying eyes. Unfortunately, in the age of smartphones it’s all too simple for ill-advised photographs to be taken and posted into Facebook or Instagram. Ensure you’ve set your Privacy Settings to ‘Friends’ or ‘Friends of Friends’ on Facebook so only those audiences can view them in the cold light of day. Setting your posts to Private on Instagram will ensure only those accounts you follow and who reciprocate can see your post. Let’s be honest: a client is unlikely to be impressed if a Google search returns multiple images of their new recruitment partner binge drinking. Rightly or wrongly, people judge and they’re unlikely to entrust the filling of a key position, involving the handover of a large fee, to someone whose profile tells the story that they spend every weekend dancing on tables and downing tequila shots.


Think before you tweet!

There were countless examples of ill-conceived tweets even before the 45th President took office. From tweets being taken the wrong way (140 characters can be a bit limiting sometimes!) to the expression of controversial opinions, the content of your tweets is on show and reflect a snapshot of who you are and what you stand for. Of course, you’re entitled to your opinion but consider the impression your thoughts will leave with clients and potential employers. Do not fall into the trap of commenting on something about which you only know half the story – you’re likely to end up looking silly. Steer clear of public arguments with so-called ‘keyboard warriors’ – you’ll never win and anyway! Avoid making controversial statements about highly emotive subjects – you may think hunting is the best sport ever but you’re likely to instantly alienate a significant number of people, some of whom are potential clients.


Connect to impress.

Linkedin is the ideal place to present your professional self. In fact, it’s almost a real-time CV. Linkedin is not the platform for selling unless you’re selling the best version of yourself. Make your profile picture professional – no trout pouts or wedding photos. Ensure your details are filled out and up to date. On the whole, status updates should revolve around your professional life although the occasional post about an area of your private life does bring an element of approachability to your profile, encouraging connection building and networking. Choose your personal revelations carefully: the completion of a degree or non-work related qualification, praising a new purchase such as a piece of technology or a gym membership, a positive customer services experience – these types of updates may not be directly connected with your professional life but they serve to underpin your values and commitments, highlighting positives you view as important. Linkedin is the platform where clients in need of your services are likely to seek you out. A well-rounded Linkedin profile is an essential part of your personal brand. If crafted carefully and with an eye for detail, it can make all the difference to your professional success.


With these pointers in mind, take a step back and examine your online presence dispassionately and ask yourself this question: on the basis of what you see, would you do business with you?