Saturday, November 6, 2010

Social Networking and Your Personal Brand

Social networking changed the world in a radical way and changed the game in terms of managing one's own career and personal brand. In the olden times (about 5 years ago), when Friendster was THE social network and others were barely a blip in the radar, the network is being used for mostly personal reasons - connect with friends, share profiles and occasionally share photos. Today, that has changed. The advent of Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and the likes allowed people not only to share personal information but also share personal thoughts.

Recruiters and would-be employers also found social networking sites as a convenient tool for finding more information about potential employees. All of a sudden, people become like commodities that are open to scrutiny and examination of strangers. For this reason alone, I believe we need to be more careful about what we put out there because it will affect either positively or negatively our own personal brand. Let me cite some examples:

Be wary of your shout-outs. When you say something on your Twitter or Facebook account, it gets red by dozens, even hundreds of people. They form opinion about what you say and also about you on the account of what you say. When you talk about how much you hate your job, your co-worker, your boss or your company, Your friends may commiserate with your pains while others will say you are a whiny lot.

People also look at what you do and what occupies your time. Recruiters like me for example look for signs of whether you are a mere cyber loafer or someone who is passionate about her profession. A lot can be said about what information are seen in your  social networking page.

I observed that our social networking activities have become an extension of our personalities. What we put out there contributes to what we offer the world. When people see your profile, what do they see? Do they see something positive or something negative? Are you a desirable person or not? What we project could impact on our professional future.

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