​To Post or Not to Post: An Important Question in the Digital Age

Last week we talked about cleaning up your social media stream. If you haven’t taken that step already, we recommend reviewing that post now and getting to it.

So what should you post? It’s important to note that anything you post online establishes a personal brand (and yes, everyone has one). Your personal brand is simply how you appear to the world, and what you post on social media plays a major role.

Here are some things that will help you establish an online personal brand that helps you in your career instead of hurting you.

1. Assess your current online brand and make sure it matches up with what you want to portray
Make a list of positive attributes you want to convey to potential employers. Things like:

  • professional
  • polished
  • responsible
  • intelligent

And make a list of negative attributes you don’t want to convey (we all have some). These would be things like:

  • moodiness
  • negativity
  • defensiveness
  • lack of tact

Ask yourself before your post, does this post match up with the brand I want to convey?

2. Keep your profile up to date
Make sure all information is up to date on all your social profiles, all the time. If you change jobs, make sure one profile doesn't still list you at the first job you ever had. Be consistent.

3. Consider your career goals
Keep your career goals in mind when you’re posting online. Share your passions around these goals—relevant articles, exciting things that are happening in your field. If you're in finance, for example, share relevant articles about interesting things happening in your field.

4. Be genuine
Post as you normally would about your hobbies and interests if they're work appropriate (art, travel, events, etc.). Don’t try to create an online persona that doesn’t match up with the best parts of yourself.

5. Be thoughtful about you profile picture
Consider that your profile picture and any other visible pictures are a big part of your brand. The profile photo in particular is literally the first thing someone sees when they search for your profile. If you're in the creative field, a photo that shows a little more of an interesting personality is often great, but a professional headshot is best for many careers.

6. Make sure others will find your content valuable
If it's something you really think others will find interesting that's work appropriate, then post it. If you’re making multiple posts about your food or how bored you are, then you might want to keep it to yourself.

7. Remember that recruiters are watching
Knowing that over 79% of recruiters will use what they find on social media to make decisions about your future, simply ask yourself before you post: is this something that supports the personal brand I want to convey, or does it undermine my opportunities?