CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) Now more than ever it is important to be mindful of how you come across online and moreover, imperative to take an active role in what is made public. Current and future employers/colleagues/clients can and do search the internet and social media platforms to mine information so they can get a sense of you as a person. Whatever you put out onto the internet will reflect on you professionally and nowadays, your online presence is essentially an extension of your resume. Therefore, it’s important to give thought not only to how you present yourself but also how you interact online. Dani Klein Williams with Dani Fine Photography shared suggestions.
- Your name – determine how you’d like to be called (real name, full name, nickname, maiden, married or “pen” name) If you are running a business or developing yourself as a brand, it’s a good idea to maintain a consistent name (be it your own or business) across all platforms. If you would like to keep a particular platform personal/private (for instance your instagram or twitter) consider adjusting your privacy settings and/or using a different name apart from what you use professionally. Generally speaking, it is important that all your posts are positive, professional and authentic. If you wouldn’t say it in an interview or to a client, best not to post it.
- Having a professional head shot is key. Just as you would dress the part when interviewing for a new job, consider what your head shot may say about you. Online, your headshot may indeed be the first time a employer/client is “introduced” to you. Be sure to dress in an approachable yet professional way – ideally you want to look pulled together, confident and happy. A professional photographer can assist – no more pixelated, diy headshots! Invest in yourself and your future by ensuring you have a great portrait by a qualified photographer. A few other tips – dress in tones that are naturally complimentary to your hair, eye and skin color. We all have certain colors that simply tend to look better on us, if you aren’t sure – ask your photographer – a good one will know. Also stay away from wearing anything overly busy/patterned as this can look/feel distracting. Go for a classic and tailored look and you will get a lot more mileage out of your headshot!
- Your Resume/bio – Keep this information up to date on your linkedin and if you have a website, include this information there as well. For your bio try to strike a balance between highlighting key skills and talents while also framing yourself as one who works well within a team or department. It’s important to infuse a bit of your personality into a bio without bragging or being overly long winded.
- Select a few key platforms and stick to those! There is no need to be everywhere all the time. Unless you have an entire team dedicated solely to this, it’s not even possible! Instead, select a few social platforms that relate well to your profession or industry and focus your attention there. Quality over quantity.
- Interaction – Like the old proviso goes, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all”. This is true in life as it is in business. If you wouldn’t say it in an interview or to a client, do not post it online. There are always exceptions to this rule depending upon your exact profession, but generally this is a good rule of thumb. Also, keep interactions regular, positive and value driven. Ensure your information up to date and continue to add to your qualifications as you grow and learn. This will allow you to share with the world that you are driven, growth oriented and will position you as an expert within your particular field. Lastly, be sure to share/post/interact often, you never know what types of connections you might make.