Thursday, March 22, 2012

You: The Brand | Part Two - Social Networks

Earlier in the week, gentle readers, we wrote about beginning the rebranding of you - starting with your resume.

Today, your MatchGirl wants to talk to you about branding yourself across your social networks. You might think that this is the least of your worries, but in this day and age, where employers are Googling your name, where some interviewers are asking for social logins, and where unemployment is still over 8% across the country, you need to pay careful attention to how you come across. Everywhere.

Let's talk about that. Take a peek at my Google profile picture here on Blogger. Then head on over to my Twitter account. Check out my page and you'll see the same image. Pinterest? Yep. Instagram (viewed here with Webstagram)? Check. And if you were to meet me in person and see my business card, you'd see the same image. Why? Because your image on social platforms is a branding opportunity. And on social platforms, consistency matters.

I make an exception on LinkedIn, where a straight up, pro-looking headshot is more appropriate. You'll notice, though, the same color combos - navy and white (and me). There is no doubt that these networks are related. Are you on LinkedIn? Take a second and check that your photo is one a potential employer would be drawn to - no babies, no pets, no plastic beer cups. Refer to Tuesday's post and make sure your resume fits the brand of you that you're building now - not the person you were ten years ago.

Is your Facebook profile private? Or is it one that any one can see? That search engines can index? If you want to use Facebook as a place to espouse political views, to share pictures of you doing keg stands or anything else that a potential employer might find ... unseemly, make your profile private. My personal Facebook profile is private, while I have a page for Unemployed Brooklyn. And I use LinkedIn for connecting with professional organizations and people.

What about Twitter? What are you talking about and sharing? Does it reflect how you want to be perceived by others?

What other social platforms do you live on? If they are public, are you cognizant of what you are putting out there? Right now, you need to be all about selling the brand of you and if you're not paying attention to what that brand is saying, you may get overlooked for someone who is better at it.

I'll finish, gentle readers, with one big question to ask yourself when you're living online:

Is this something I'd be embarrassed by if my mother saw it?
If the answer is yes, you probably don't want a potential boss to see it either.



  1. This is sound advice for a time when the internet can sometimes be used by potential employers as a "reference" for you, before any of the names from your resume are ever telephoned. I like to treat every photo or post with the assumption that my boss can read it. With Facebook privacy settings changing on a regular basis and "Friends of Friends" able to see more of your profile than you might realize, it's always better to err on the side of caution.

  2. Thanks, Nancy!
    It's easy to forget that potentially anyone can see anything you've put out there.