This post was originally published in February 2015.
I remember thinking as I entered the real world for the first time in my professional life, how the hell am I going to get a “real job”? You know, one of those jobs that actually pays the bills and your parents don’t truly understand what you do, but are proud of you just because you have a new career. Yeah, how the hell was I going to get one of those?
The answer is simple. It doesn’t matter if you’re a soon-to-be college graduate, or an unhappy professional looking for a career change, you have to be constantly branding yourself. In today’s digital world, we now have the opportunity to put all of our professional accomplishments on public display. Tools and platforms like LinkedIn, or a personalwebsite/blog, give us the ability to display our career body of work, which allows us to become our own professional online brand.
I’m from the generation that really evolved social media, so naturally when I was in college, I was on all the big social platforms. IE: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. I was fortunate enough to pick up on blogging my last few semesters in school too, (you know, right before I hit the real world). Ultimately, my online presence played a big part into my “professional brand”.
Gone are the days where your paper resume gets you a job. Employers in today’s world go straight to Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook to see what their future candidate’s online portfolio looks like. Imagine your online brand as a place where you can get former and current professional endorsements from your colleagues. Your blog or personal website can now be a place where you show future employers how you are a thought leader in a specific industry. And more than anything, if you start to digitally brand yourself from an integrated standpoint, you now become relevant. We now have the ability to strengthen our professional connections, and like it or not, it could start with a simple Google search of your name that makes your “resume” get seen for the first time. Now go get that job kid.