8 Steps to Build a Digital Identity that Reflects the Real You – and Gets you Hired
How do you build a legitimate, accurate and attractive digital identity that reflects your personality and attracts others – especially potential employers? In today’s digital workplace it’s essential to present yourself in a professional manner, by creating an entire digital presence that’s visible to the world and garners attention, and, most importantly, that you control. It takes a bit of effort, but rewards can be huge, especially that according to a global survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, at least 43% of companies and institutions use search engines and social media to assess candidates.
According to a global survey the Society for Human Resource Management, at least 43% of companies and institutions use search engines and social media to assess candidates.
- Define your goals and what you want to put forward
What do you want to look like online? What do you want to do? To connect with peers, to influence others, sell products, to be read? Identify what your digital presence will enable you to achieve. While branding experts insist on the value of authenticity, you can pick and choose aspects of yourself that you’d rather put forward. You can brainstorm ideas such as what your values and life goals are: a company will often hire people with a likeminded outlook on life. And don’t be afraid to delve into your passions, which give a glimpse into your personality.
- Find your target audience
Who do you want to appeal to? You could be looking for a job, an investor, or a client. In this case, identify who their archetype is and what their motivations are, and tailor your content accordingly. Or you could be looking to directly sell a product or a service, and will need to determine who your audience is. Knowing your target makes for more efficient marketing, since it will enable you to will tailor your discourse accordingly.
- Google yourself
See what kind of content shows up, and if it corresponds to the image you want to project. Perhaps someone else with the same name is in the top results, in which case you really need to augment your online presence.
Check if the results match what you want people to know about you. If you see negative results, try to publish and push positive ones to the top. A good idea is to monitor your Google results once a week to see if your efforts are successful, or to set up a Google Alerts for yourself, which will let you know whenever your name is appears on the internet.
- Revamp your social media
Delete content that could be harmful to your image. Make all your accounts as secure and private as possible. Have professional headshots taken as they inspire more confidence. Choose one handle to use in your email and across all social media so people immediately recognize you. Do not forget to include your name in your profile’s UR, and to add a statement about yourself in your public profile.
Don’t neglect your LinkedIn profile: it is key to improve your job standing or search for clients.
- Build your own website
Your website is the single destination for people to discover you, your career and our achievements. Create a portfolio showcasing your professional life – resume, awards, references etc. Or, if you’re a creative, highlight your best projects, and if you’re a speaker, why not start a podcast.
- Create your personalized e-signature
Include your contact information, link to your website or portfolio, and social network profiles.
- Focus on a few platforms
It’s no use being everywhere at once without being active, and by targeting platforms, you are focusing on engagement quality and building connections.
From podcasts to blogs to Snapchat, choose your favorite platform and the one most appropriate to your goals– Facebook for posts, Instagram for images, Twitter for short statements and opinion, or even Pinterest
Decide what type of content you’re most comfortable publishing, keeping in mind your audience and your aims. For instance, if you’re looking for a job in a certain industry, post on trending news about this industry often, or if you’re a freelancer, showcase projects you’re working on. Find your own voice and style, keeping a consistent tone that your audience will get to know and love.
- Network, network, network
Use every platform you are part of to connect with others and share content. Choose the sites whose members you are interested in connecting with, and work on starting conversations.