July 2015
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Setting up for Online Success

Are you the master of your own personal brand?

Manny MandrusiakManny Mandrusiak,
Managing Creative Consultant,
4 Bravo Marketing

Contributing Editor
 


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Several months ago I created a training class for the GT hiring Job Skills for the Urban Worker Program in Nanaimo, BC.  The aim of the training is to provide people who were 55+ with the online skills to not only successfully search for jobs online, but to land an interview.  As part of the training I introduce students to LinkedIn and the importance of having an online profile because as Karl Flinders quotes in a recent ComputerWeekly.com article "A massive 64% of HR managers think it is appropriate to look at online profiles of candidates for work and 41% have rejected people as a result".

That is a huge number of HR Managers looking at a potential candidate’s websites and social media profiles to form an opinion before even reading the resume. I’m guilty of it myself. I am currently looking for a new Account Manager for the Vancouver, BC office of ctc TrainCanada and I will be the first to admit that I have Googled every applicant whose resume has come across my desk.  I have looked at Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles, and even watched some YouTube videos made by applicants.

The point of all this is that the Internet of Things has changed the very fabric of our lives, and nothing will ever truly be as simple as it once was.  That is meant to be a positive statement, but with every positive there is always a negative. 

One of the negatives that I point out to students is not actually knowing what your personal brand says about you to people who view your profiles on the internet. Now one of the first comments that I get to that statement is from someone who states that they have no personal brand.  You brand products and companies, but not people. Wrong. Marketers have been branding people for years. Take Donald Trump, or Richard Simmons for example. They are themselves their own brand because as soon as you hear their names your mind immediately connects Trump with the catch phrase “You’re fired” from TVs Apprentice, and Richard Simmons with fitness and weight loss products.

Now as the internet continues to evolve and social media platforms demand that people become more engaged a larger personal digital footprint is created which in turn is someone’s personal brand.  That is a positive thing, the negative side is not knowing what that personal brand (your digital footprint) says about you.  If you are a job seeker knowing what your digital profile says about you could mean the difference between employment, and the unemployment line.

One of the first things that I get students to do is to look their own name up in a Google search. Why? Well a couple of reasons really.  According to Mashable.com only 56% of internet users have actually searched their own name in Google. That means that 44% of internet users have no idea what could be written about them on the internet.  To me that is a lot like applying for a mortgage and not knowing your credit score before you do.  Way too much in unknown for me, and if searching online profiles is becoming more and more part of the actual recruitment process then I would think of someone’s online profiles as a “digital handshake” with potential employers.

Control Solutions, Inc The saying goes “It’s never too late to make a good first impression”, well when it comes to that “digital handshake” it just might be.  Make sure to manage your personal brand because as it grows through joining more and more networks, your name will start to pop up in search engines and on social networks. Personally I set up Google Alerts for my own name, competitors, business partners, etc., just so that I always know what is being said about things that I care about at all times.

We all know just how fast information can travel on social networks and when it is good-it’s great!  When it is not so good- it usually travels faster.  Maintaining our personal brands online is going to become second nature to us as the Internet of Things continues to grow.  Whether it is making that first good impression with the “digital handshake”, or starting a new business venture with a like-minded partner, it is never too late to put your best digital face forward.

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