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Career Development Center

» Personal Branding & Social Media

It used to be that we had online profiles that were either personal or professional. There was Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to communicate with friends and then LinkedIn to communicate with colleagues and other professionals.

However, in recent years, the lines between our personal and professional profiles have begun to blur. If you’re wondering how to tell the difference between the two, remember this: Any public profile is a professional profile. Whatever information a current or potential employer may be able to find about you through an online search is a reflection of you and your professional background—in other words, your personal brand.

So here are some tips for how to brand yourself as a professional!

+ - Developing Your Personal Brand Identity

  • Identify your skills, passions, and unique selling points (specialization is key!).
    • Visit the Career Development Center to help discover what makes you you through assessments and tools for self-reflection. To learn more about assessing your skills and interests visit our assessments page.
    • You may also find inspiration about personal branding via Pinterest or Behance.
  • Discover how you are perceived by friends & family, professional colleagues & classmates, and your online community.
    • Ask people you know for feedback about how they perceive you in terms of your strengths and areas of expertise. Also use Google to search your own name and see what kind of information pops up for the first-time searcher!
  • Determine what you would like to achieve in terms of what service you would like to provide, who your target audience is, and what your communication style will be.
    • Once you determine your voice, use it clearly and consistently throughout all social media platforms as well as any personal websites or portfolios.
  • Choose your name and/or slogan by which you would like to be identified. Also choose logos, colors, and a personal story about yourself/ your brand which you would like others to associate with you.
    • Consider exploring color theory to determine the look and feel you would like your brand to have. Be sure to remain true to yourself because people tend to respond strongly to a genuine presence.
  • Create your own ecosystem for where your work takes place, whether that be your home, coffee shops & mixers, or theatres & clubs, etc.
    • The more clear you are about who you are, what you stand for, and what you provide for your community, the more people will be drawn to you and your content.
  • Create your network of influencers, communities, and colleagues.
    • Follow experts in your field to learn about trends in your industry. Participate as much as possible in groups, forums, and events both online and in person to get to know other people who share your interests and passions. You never know how you may be able to support one another in each of your ventures!
  • Create original content to share your message and perspective with your audience!
    • Use blogs, social media, and your social networks to create and share multimedia content, such as interesting news stories, industry trends, sources of inspiration, advice from people you admire, etc. This is a chance to share your thoughts, opinions, interests, and perspective in a way that is unique to you.
  • Get involved and discuss your passions and content with other like-minded people in your target audience!
    • Actively engage in conversations that take place online via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Leave professional, meaningful comments on blogs related to your field of interest, and also be diligent about sharing valuable content from others as well! This is how you may begin to build a support network of people within your industry.
  • Stay attuned to feedback you receive about your brand so you can continuously improve and evolve.
    • Use Twitter, RSS feeds, and Google alerts to get news about your brand. Also be open to hearing praise and/or criticism that you may receive via email or through Google Analytics, LinkedIn endorsements, etc. All of this feedback can help you continue to refine your personal brand to make it as successful and authentically you as possible.

+ - General Best Practices for Social Media Accounts

Great Online Social Media Guides:

Tips on Profile Pictures:

  1. Your profile photo should be a clear, front-lit image of your face (from head to shoulders or head to waist). (Avoid back-lit photos because they are low contrast, and you want your face to be visible.)
  2. The most dynamic profile photos tend to be slightly asymmetrical. Use the Rule of Thirds: if you were to draw a tic-tac-toe board on your profile photo, you would want your face placed at the intersection of the lines on the left or right of the photo, rather than in the center of the board.
  3. Once you have a favorite photo chosen, use the same profile photo across all of your social media accounts so that you will be easily recognized by followers and potential employers. It’s just like a logo for a company – you want people to recognize and remember you!
  4. If you don’t have a high-quality, professional photograph of yourself, be sure to attend our MORE Career Expo in the Spring semester to get a complimentary one taken by our staff!