Personal branding: in the social world

Personal branding: in the social world

Mobile phone with Facebook login and scrabble letters


Whether you prefer to tweet, post, pin or you mix it up depending on what you’re sharing. Chances are you will have at least one social media account that is dedicated to your personal life and you probably use LinkedIn for your professional life.

Recruiters and employers are increasingly turning to non-professional social platforms to vet candidates as part of their recruitment process. You could say that it’s unfair but whether it is or it isn’t, it is a reality of recruitment today, and it’s something that you need to be acutely aware of.

As a professional and a job seeker, how you present yourself to the world has never been so important.  

A picture's worth a thousand words, so consider carefully what that photo taken on last Friday’s night out really says about you. It’s totally ok to have fun and to have photos that show character but showing anything that goes too far or is illegal, illicit or that your parents might disapprove of is a definite no no. If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, don’t share it.

This is made easier on Facebook because you can set up an approval level for anything that is posted to your timeline or that you are tagged in.

Meme’s are everywhere now too and they can be a minefield for you if you’re looking for a job. If you’ve shared one to your timeline that could be offensive rather than a bit of fun, it could look bad in the eyes of your potential employer.

It can also be really easy to get sucked into political and social debates, we’ve all been there. Sometimes you feel like you just need to say your piece. If you do feel the need to speak up then make sure you’re well informed about the subject you are speaking about and can stand behind your comments. If there is a really divisive topic it may be better to hold your tongue and keep your opinions private.

The same goes for groups and pages you follow as well as any boards you set up. Think about what these say about you and whether showing an affinity to a certain political party, social campaign or movement could affect how you are perceived by a prospective employer.

Try to keep it clean. Swearing can be humorous in the right context but citing your full repertoire in your posts is never going to portray you as an ideal employee. Equally photographs with a one, or indeed, two finger salute should be moderated.

Even if you’re not actively looking for a job social media platforms can and will be viewed by your colleagues and clients, so just be conscious about what you post. Many careers have been damaged by a poorly judged image or comment that has gone viral and you definitely don’t want to be next in that queue.