We live in a highly digitized world—having a strong, authentic personal brand and online professional presence is more important than ever before. Your professional digital footprint is not just about sharing your skills, it’s about sharing who you are. When you share your whole self, you create a unique journey that can open doors to opportunities and reshape your career.
With nearly 20 years of experience in the talent brand and talent acquisition space, I’ve personally seen the impact that a strong online presence can have on the success of landing an interview and, more importantly, an offer. There is tremendous value in taking the time to strategize and refine how you show up online.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way to guide you in building your own online presence.
Five tips for managing your personal brand online
1. Get to know your personal brand.
Personal branding is an art, where you present yourself to the world in a way that displays who you are and what makes you unique. It takes creativity, vulnerability, and not taking yourself too seriously. Spend time thinking about what makes you, you. Ask yourself: What are my strengths, what lights me up, and what differentiator do I bring to the table? Maybe you’re skilled at creating relationships, maybe you have a knack for creating an environment of trust, or perhaps, you have a way to tell a story with data that even a non-data lover can understand and get behind. Whatever you are, be sure to capture that for your network.
2. Decide which platform to use to craft your online presence.
Next step: Where do you want to have a presence? Choose the platforms that engage the audience you’re looking to impact and influence. If you’re in the job market, LinkedIn is the biggest professional network, and typically a great place to start crafting your story. In addition to filling out your profile, you can also share updates on the platform, which shows your network that you’re engaged. If you are looking for more advice on this channel, here are some additional tips from LinkedIn.
If you’re a content creator, software engineer, or sales professional, there are sites and groups that cater specifically to your areas of interest. Create a consistent professional presence that highlights a combination of your skills and experiences while also curating thought leadership content. Do not be a silent observer: Engage with others, share your voice, and bring ideas to the table. Quality thought leadership is an effective path to gaining influence and gives you both credibility and a voice in your space.
3. Network online.
Join professional networking groups and online communities to stay current on trending topics in your space. This also gives you access to grow your network and find other people to collaborate with on future content. For example, for my role in talent acquisition, I’ve found great value in belonging to the Northeast HR Association (Nehra), Linked:HR, and the Talent Brand Alliance, to name a few.
4. Keep a pulse on your online reputation.
Monitoring your presence online should be a regular practice. One easy way to do this is to Google yourself. You might be surprised what shows up in the search results. If you’re putting effort into creating an online presence, that should help bring more recent content higher into search results. Refreshing your LinkedIn profile every quarter, for instance, helps ensure that it continues to outrank older articles where you may be referenced.
5. Evolve your personal brand.
Your personal brand and online presence are valuable tools that should evolve with you alongside your career and personal passions. Regularly reflect on if your digital footprint reflects who you are today and showcases you in a genuine and engaging way.
Remember, your online presence is not just about showing what skills you have, it’s about making meaningful contributions, creating connections, and sharing your uniqueness with the world.
So go on, create that profile, and get branding!