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Graduates Are You Protecting Your Online Personal Brand?

Graduates Are You Protecting Your Online Personal Brand?

10 Tips to Get You Started the Right Way!

Create Relevant Professional Profiles

Build compelling, professional profiles for yourself that include your professional job history. LinkedIn is an obvious place for such a profile, but Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, are great as well! These profiles should demonstrate not only what you’ve accomplished, but where your strengths are and what you can offer future employers.  Include paid, internships and volunteer positions!

Put in the Time to Make it Awesome

Simply put, the more complete your profile, the better the odds recruiters will find you in the first place.

Once a recruiter has found you…  

and decided to click on your profile: He or she wants to know what your skills are, where you’ve worked, and what people think of you. So, don’t get lazy—fill out every single section of your profile. LinkedIn will actually measure the “completeness” of your profile as you work and offer suggestions on how to make it stronger.

Choose a Great Photo

Choose a clear, friendly, and appropriately professional image, and pop that baby up there. Not sure what “appropriately professional” means? Take a look around at what the people in your target company, industry sector, or business level are wearing. Match that.  When in doubt, get a professional headshot. It is worth the investment!

Be Engaged

Follow companies in your field on LinkedIn and Twitter so you’re automatically notified about new hires, product developments, and other news. “Like” companies you’re interested in and join the conversation about industry trends on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn pages. This is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and value to a potential employer.


Connect with others in your industry.  Goal is to have 500+ connections on LinkedIn.  LinkedIn’s Groups are an excellent place to do this. Search the directory to find Groups in your industry, join those that appear especially active and vibrant, and then introduce yourself to the other members.  Build your social capital by becoming known as a source for provocative content.  Don’t forget to network with peer groups online that have mixers such as your local Chamber,  ITintheD, Startup Grind Detroit as well!

Be Known As an Resource

Help out others by answering questions, making introductions, and linking to provocative content. It’s very apparent if you have a one-sided “what’s in it for me?” mentality. People know to expect that sort of thing from you–but if you regularly answer questions on LinkedIn and provide links to great content on Facebook and Twitter, you are again building that social capital. As a guide, try to give four times for every time you take.

Make a Plan

It’s also important to have a game plan in mind when you set out to use these sites as part of a job search. In other words, plan on working on your profile one day, joining groups another, or following companies a third. The point is not to try and do too many disparate tasks all day, every day. You’ll waste too much time and not do anything as well as you could have if you were more organized and disciplined.

Stop the hate

Don’t post comments or status updates bashing your colleagues, professors or interviewer – those things have a way of getting found. No one wants to hire a negative Nancy (or Ned).  Not to mention, your prospective employer doesn’t want to be on the receiving end of your next rant.  This goes the same for political rants and arguments about nonsense, keep it positive!

What the @#$!?

Refrain from dropping f-bombs or other 4-letter words in status updates and comments. When you’re trying to find a job or get ahead in your career, it’s important to have a professional online brand. Need more convincing? A study found that 61 percent of HR professionals reacted negatively to job seekers who used profanity in their posts and tweets.

Get locked down!

Have a friends and family only profile on Facebook?  Lock it down with privacy settings!  Use only your first and middle name, make sure you un-tag yourself from unflattering and inappropriate photographs that your friends and family may post.   Think twice before hitting the send button on every status update, tweet and message!

Sources:  TopDog Social Media, Forbes and Brad Schepp, co-author of How To Find A Job On LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Julie Van Ameyde is the owner of Simply Social Media. She puts her combined knowledge of social media platforms and best practices as a veteran business owner to work for clients in a myriad of vertical markets, including law, medicine, finance, technology, manufacturing, retail and service-based organizations. In addition, she contributes considerable time and energy to civic outreach programs, as well as community and charity groups. Contact Julie at: 248-667-8718 or

Simply Social Media is located in Northville, Michigan a suburb of Detroit and Ann Arbor Michigan

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