Once upon a time, a very long time ago in Internet years, I wrote a webinar and publication on finding your next job with social media. I stumbled over it recently while cleaning up one of my archives. While lots of the individual pieces are badly out of date, the work as a whole is still relevant. This series is a new version of the old stuff, modernized for today.
Publishing Your Brand
Now that we have gathered our assets, It’s time to make them public. Before we can reach out and let people know we are searching for a new opportunity, we have to build a place for them to go. In fact, we have to build several places for them to find us, to be where they are. We want two kinds of properties: owned and rented.
Owned property is typically our website, though it also can include our email newsletter. Rented property is typically a social network, something that we don’t own, we don’t have direct control over. We can publish to it, we can maintain a personal profile on it, but we ultimately do not have any say in how the property is run.
Before we can build a website, we need to have a domain name. Purchasing a domain name is simple and straightforward. Choosing a domain name is slightly harder. For job searching purposes, choose a domain name that reflects your professional name. For example, this website is built at christopherspenn.com. I chose that name because I share a name with a now-deceased actor.
For some people, their professional name differs from their legal name. For example, you may be known by your unmarried name. Choose the name you are best known by professionally for your domain name.
Once you’ve procured a domain name, set up a simple website to house your story, your resume/CV, and a contact form. For more information about the website setup process, check out this post from our Marketing for Kids series.
Social Media Profiles
Social media is where most people fail to publish themselves well. To establish yourself as a leader in your field, be sure to share information on a regular, frequent basis. Share your own thoughts, share content from industry leaders, share timely news.
You’ll want to separate your personal social media accounts from your professional ones; if you use a network (such as Facebook) for personal use, be sure to set up either a business Page or a second account for your professional presence. You’ll also likely want to retroactively restrict your personal posts to Friends Only privacy settings, especially if they contain any information that would be harmful to your reputation.
Your first social network should be LinkedIn. Create a LinkedIn profile and add as much information to it as possible. Remember all the awards, certifications, and other heuristics from part 3? This is where you publish it all. Unlike a paper resume/CV, you don’t need to worry about “too many pages” on LinkedIn – just relevance.
Publish every position, award, certification, etc. that showcases who you are professionally and who you aspire to be. Leave off experiences that aren’t relevant to the position you want next; I don’t put the summer I spent driving forklifts as a teenager on my profile because it’s not who I am or what I do now.
A Twitter account can be an excellent vehicle for sharing lots of bite-sized information. Add your profile, photo, and website to your Twitter profile.
As mentioned earlier, your personal Facebook profile may contain “disqualifying information” – content that could lead a hiring manager to pass you by. Disqualifying information includes:
- Political or religious opinions
- Content that could be misinterpreted as insensitive or offensive
- Content showing inappropriate photos/videos of you
- Content that could be taken out of context and misunderstood
I strongly encourage you to set all your past and present content to ‘friends only’ and set up a Facebook Business Page for yourself as a public figure. Use that Page to showcase who you are as a business professional (no matter your occupation) and let that Page be found easily in search.
Next: Thought Leadership
All these social media profiles and websites/blogs are a good starting point, but they are vehicles. Like a car, if you don’t get behind the wheel and drive them, they do nothing but collect dust. In the next post, we’ll examine how to leverage these properties to work for you.
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