E-reputation and Personal Branding

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"Personal branding" is all about managing your image as if you were managing your personal brand, by applying the techniques of communication and marketing. It's not a question of selling yourself, but looking after your image by showing yourself in a good light and showcasing your skills and achievements.

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Google yourself! Type your first name and surname into Google, Google Videos and Google Images, and see what comes up. Now ask yourself: is that really what I would want to show potential recruiters? If you're embarrassed by any content you appear in, delete it or make it private.

Important: Google yourself in "private browsing" mode so that the results are not biased by your past searches.

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Personal branding, whether online or in real life, takes time and you shouldn't do it to get yourself "head-hunted" by recruiters. It might earn you recognition by your peers or as an expert in your field, and perhaps professional opportunities (collaborative project, exchanges of points of view, etc.), but rarely a job. It would be a shame to miss out on professional opportunities because you didn't spend a few hours of your time surfing...

It's now time to ask yourself which platforms you should use to sharpen up your personal image.

  • Generally speaking, favour professional networks like LinkedIn and Viadeo as well as Twitter and blogs where lots of professionals have accounts.
  • When it comes to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and the rest, they have more personal uses and do not give you the chance to cultivate your professional image. But if your job has an artistic side (designer, creative director, etc.), these social networks can have advantages, including the creation of stand-out graphic content, and can showcase your expertise. If so, it's up to you to decide what use you can make of them, and to what end.

Other tips, which are important too!

  • Test each platform and observe what happens before getting stuck in.
  • Make your move gradually: initially focus on one social network before you consider making full use of a second.
  • Don't forget to be original in order to stand out.
  • Harmonise your online presence: use the same description (bio) and the same photo (which must be professional) on LinkedIn, Viadeo, Twitter, Doyoubuzz, etc.: any platform you use for business purposes.
  • Complete your profile with the right keywords: recruiters and internet users search by keywords so it's important to choose the right ones, those used in the profession (avoid your company's in-house jargon).
  • Proactively increase your influence by contacting people directly: whether on LinkedIn, Viadeo or Twitter, use the advanced search engine, and use keywords to identify and discuss subjects with people in your field.
  • Look after your personal brand in real life: professional life is more of a human adventure than a digital one. So attend conferences or other professional events to meet "real" people.