Month: July 2014

Why YOU should have a LinkedIn; Branding Yourself

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{This article will be the first of a blog series… Stay tuned}

Seemingly enough, there are tons of people who stay absent on this professional social network. The question that I raise in my mind is why are people not staying constantly active on this site, but will search for jobs on Indeed, Monster and Career Builder? We live in such a digital driven society that it seems that as if social networking has become almost innate. However, there is still a profound misunderstanding as to why you should be socially present and regularly active on this career driven platform.

As a young professional, I try to update my LinkedIn profile consistently as my experience increases/updates. The ability to “brand yourself” in this day and age is crucial. Obtaining a degree is not the only quality that will set you apart from the competition in the corporate world, but maintaining and managing a strong online social presence might just do that. Therefore, I feel as though it is imperative to be socially present across as many social networks as possible. This will create substantial data that generates content on the web that will help create that “branding” of the image you want to portray to your “future employers” or “future network contacts”. It doesn’t cut it to just socialize with people in a face-to-face dynamic but interacting online is just as essential (maybe even more critical in 2014…).

I first learned the term “branding yourself” in my undergraduate days from professor Dr. Karen Freberg. She teaches courses at the University of Louisville in the Department of Communication. Freberg repeatedly expressed a strong emphasis on creating a strong brand of yourself online across all social networks that which one is present on. I find it relieving that FORBES reiterates these same strategies that Freberg taught during my time at the University of Louisville. LinkedIn gives users a chance to create a personalized image to convey to the world. One should use their LinkedIn profile as a platform to upload previous work and achievements that add to the individual branding process. I personally have uploaded several pieces from my portfolio on my LinkedIn profile. I try to bolster the pieces that truly create the brand of myself, correspondingly also mirroring my strategic skill set. So, UPLOAD your work on your own profile, and try only displaying a few pieces that truly reflect your own brand image. One does not want to upload every single document that one has ever created because viewers might feel as though they have hit information overload. Key words: Share sparingly.

Tips for pieces to upload:

  1. Business/Marketing/Social Media Plans: Most of my courses in college required students to write often. I had to create several business plans, marketing plans and social media plans. Obviously in 2014, it is important to associate the three as one as everything is becoming more and more digitally driven. Incorporate the best practices of social media for a company in your marketing and business plans… The three almost always tend to interconnect.
  2. Writing Pieces: As I mentioned in the latter, college students write consistently and regularly. Upload PDF pieces of the writing pieces that truly reflect the line of work in which you want to pursue. I upload multiple pieces on my blog that reflect the writing style I obtain. It is important to remember to EDIT. Spelling errors or confusing sentences will not reflect a strong professional online reputation.
  3. Published Work: If you have been published, SHOW IT! Insert a link as to where your work has been publicly published. During my internship in the UofL Athletic Department, I had to write a blog every week that was published on my boss’ blog. I have inserted that link into my “experience” section on LinkedIn. It is important for employers to be able to easily access your work, so make sure the link is active and directly sends them to the right place of interest.