The competitive environment surrounding us encourages those who wish to succeed to learn how to market themselves effectively. Whether you are applying for a job, trying to win a client, or in some cases, applying to a university, using social media to present the real you can make be difference between you getting noticed or being overlooked.
Social media enables many to showcase skills that may not be evident otherwise. Using only the written word is sometimes not enough to evaluate a candidate, especially when it may be more important for a person to fit into the organization from a personality, culture and attitude perspective than just in aptitude. By using social media, people can get a sense of who you are, what you do, how you will add value to them or their organization long before ever meeting you in person.
I was asked by Fox25 News to comment on the one minute video supplement to Tufts University’s admission process and social media in general for a special report on How YouTube Can Help You Get Into College. The students could submit an optional essay using one of eight topics, one of which was a one minute video about themselves uploaded to YouTube. I found this an exciting addition to the standard application process and one that will become more common in the future.
Developing your online presence or personal brand by incorporating various aspects of social media into your activities enable you to show a multi-faceted person rather than a single dimension. Writing is an important skill, but it’s not the only one. Some people are good at showing their personality through their writing styles, but others don’t have that flair. Social media levels the playing field for those who are comfortable using other types of media to demonstrate their skills.
Tips for Building Your Personal Brand
Whether you are already in the workplace, starting a business or graduating from high school or college, you’ve already started to develop a personal brand. If you haven’t paid much attention to how you are perceived through your Web presence, you may want to do a reputation check and then spend a little time working on developing it further.
- Have a strategy – understand what you want your image to be publicly and stay consistent. This is no different than a company trying to market their company and build brand awareness. Successful organizations consistently portray the same image. Those that veer from their brand, confuse the market and lose opportunities. Your personal brand is no different.
- Know who you are – don’t try to be something you’re not. Figure out who you are, what is comfortable for you to project and then stay on course.
- Show a little personality – Too many people try to hide their real selves from the public in their social media profiles. Show what makes you unique, both professionally and personally. It’s what will attract the right people to you who then want to connect with you.
As Brian McLaughlin stated in the report, social media is their generation’s way of speaking, and allowing them to use these tools to present themselves is a way of seeing the world through their eyes. Give people a way to see the true you through creative use of social media.
How have you used social media to build your online presence and reputation? Have you been able to use it successfully to gain visibility in whatever you were pursuing? Share your success stories!