Taking Control of Your Professional Identity

November 2, 2015 by Curtin CEL Team

Taking Control of Your Professional Identity

Many people feel that personal branding is only relevant for those in creative industries and possibly business roles. However, the increasing accessibility of online information has meant that everyone needs to be aware of their digital footprint and proactively manage their professional identity.

Social media is the first place many employers look, both to recruit directly and to screen candidates who have applied for advertised positions. It’s therefore crucial to ensure that firstly, there’s no content that could adversely impact your credibility, and secondly, that there’s material that makes you stand out as a strong professional with a point of difference.

Your online presence can do your reputation serious harm. However, if managed correctly it’s a great opportunity for employers and potential clients to gain valuable insights about you and connect with you.

A positive online presence can actually work hard for you – possibly bringing opportunities your way!

Let’s take care of the basics first:

  1. Complete the six fundamental steps discussed in Wipe Your Feet.
  2. Regardless of your industry, you should be on LinkedIn – remember, this isn’t a quick fix, take the time to make your profile engaging and highlight the skills and experiences that make you unique.

Ready to take it to the next level?

  • Use Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook to build your brand. Be mindful of what you’re sharing and publishing – you may want to use it show more personal insights like your love of travel, fitness, or sustainability. Or you may want to keep it professional with commentary on industry trends or achievements from your latest project.
  • Have you considered your own blog? Or contributing to industry blogs? Offer your perspective by sharing and writing articles online, including advances in your field and case studies. Keep it current – if something comes up in the news that you have a professional opinion on, write about it.
  • What is your speciality? As opposed to keeping it general – highlighting your niche can help form a powerful personal brand and make you memorable and competitive.
  • Put in that bit extra. Sharing your involvement in community projects or volunteering experiences can help to shape your identity.

Building your online presence doesn’t come without risks – if you don’t have time to maintain an active Twitter account, don’t open one; if your comments could become inflammatory or misunderstood, it can be best not to share them; and, in all cases, respect your client’s and colleague’s privacy and don’t share anything that you don’t have the authority to.

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