What makes you, you? The clothes you’re wearing, your hobbies, your family? Every single piece of you, even the tiniest detail, is relevant starting the day you’re born. Childhood memories that shaped you into the human you are today, events that changed your life both positively and negatively, and how you choose to represent yourself every morning before you begin your day. This is you, this is your life, this is your personal brand.
“Personal branding is the means by which people remember you. It’s more than a trademark; it is how you present yourself online and offline to potential clients and customers. Your personal brand builds your business, but it still centers around you as an individual” (Lake, 2017).
Your presence both on and off of social media sites can determine multiple decisions involving your future career. Our whole lives we have always been told to be careful what we put on the Internet, especially since it will never truly be deleted or erased. In almost every case, potential employers will scan your social media accounts before even confirming an interview with you. This is why your presence online is just as important as in person, because your future career will depend on the types of photos and thoughts you are putting online. Yes, you may be in college and you deserve to have fun, but your future has already started.
Another important aspect about personal branding on social media is authenticity. It is simple to create a “perfect” life on social media, sharing beautifully curated photos and only the best memories. While this is appealing, always make sure to stay true to who you really are. Your photos and thoughts that you are sharing and posting should remain true to your everyday life, and should not copy or mimic someone else in hopes of the same fame or success. Your online persona should be identical to your persona in real life, which will only lead potential employers and clients to gravitate towards you even more.
“Personal branding is about authenticity; it’s about you being you, not going out of your way to convey an image of what you think people want to see and hear. Before jumping into the personal branding world on social media, establish an authentic set of values and behaviors in real, everyday life among the people you are in contact with inside and outside of work” (Kalman, 2017).
What does all of this boil down to? Show your true self on social media. What you post on social media should relate not only to your life, but to other people as well. People love seeing pictures of your travels, adventures, coffee, food, family/pets, your favorite weekend activities (the list goes on and on). This makes you seem real, authentic, and like an actual human when it comes to potential employers and clients. You are someone who enjoys life just as much as you enjoy sharing it with others. Yes, maybe you enjoy life while chugging a beer bong or with your shirt off at a bar, but maybe save those special moments to share with friends or family only instead of the rest of the world! 😉
“Be yourself and be confident when interacting with people. That alone can lead to amazing opportunities both in your professional and personal lives. Be yourself because everyone else is taken” (Agius & Patel, 2017).