As the Career Center‘s Fall Career Expo and Fair wraps up, the next step in your journey of vocational discernment begins. For many students, the focus will shift to brushing up on interview skills and finding new ways to get involved on campus to gain new experiences. For other students, the Career Fair provided an opportunity to reflect on interests and identify potential career paths.
One area that becomes more important as you get closer to securing your first internship, and eventually your first professional position after graduation, is the concept of a “personal brand.”
Your brand is manifested in everything you do and everyone with whom you interact. A major part of your personal brand is your online presence, particularly with social media. Whether you realize it or not, the internet is one of the primary sources that employers use to look beyond the resume and cover letter to learn more about candidates.
The decisions you make in your days at Notre Dame will directly influence your future. Just as you learn in the classroom, the decisions you make outside of the classroom (particularly in social settings) can have far reaching implications.
Shama Hyder provides a summary of personal branding in an August 18, 2014 Forbes article, including these 2 key points:
- Audit your online presence
- Be purposeful in what you share
As you begin to refine your personal brand, consider the following questions:
- What appears when you perform a Google search (or better yet, a Google image search) of your name? Is this brand reflective of the “true you”?
- Does your Facebook profile really need to be public? Is what you post on Facebook something that a potential employer would find appropriate?
- What impression would a potential employer have of you if they spent 5 minutes scrolling through your Twitter feed?
Be smart; be thoughtful; and remember… you are responsible for developing and refining your personal brand.