February 24, 2011

7 FAQs About Online Brand for Career Professionals

How to develop an online brand is arguably the hot topic for many of today’s professionals. Not only is it critical for many, if not all, businesses these days to have on online presence, it is also fast becoming the way that career professionals promote their value to either retain a job, advance to higher levels, or transition to another career.

This article will cover 7 frequently asked questions about online brand presence for career professionals. Unlike most other articles and media that refer to social networking and online visibility, this message will address people who are still in a workplace setting and the relevance of getting engaged in the online wave of the future.

FAQs About Online Brand for Career Professionals:

  1. Why do I need an online brand presence when I work for someone else? Competing in today’s workforce has been quite a different environment these days. Employers are looking more meticulously and for skilled workers, if they’re looking at all. Instead of distributing unnecessary salary dollars to have a recruiter travel to job fairs and collect a pay check all day, thousands of dollars can be saved when recruiting is sourced right from the computer. An article on InternetNews.com by Stuart J. Johnson followed a survey that indicated more than 70% of HR professionals and recruiters rejected job candidates due to what they found online about them. And I suspect that if employers cannot find you at all, they can see your competitor who has a tremendous online profile, and therefore an automatic advantage over you for the position.
  2. How do I get started in creating an online brand presence, especially when I don’t have these skills? There are lots and lots of social media experts and online tutorials. Once you have identified your personal brand strategy (perhaps with the help of a career coach specializing in this area), you can better determine what learning needs you have and find the resources to fill these needs.
  3. Everyone has a blog and they’re telling me I need one too. What if I’m not really a great writer? Part of your branding strategy should be to determine your communication style. Perhaps, instead of written material, your blog may incorporate audio or something else that suits your preference.
  4. I don’t know what to talk about. What if I don’t have anything to say? We all know the old saying about opinions…everyone has one! What is a topic that you know very well, are passionate about, and would love to talk about with other people? Is it a topic that could open doors for someone, or make others feel like they have a strong emotional reaction to? Talk about your area of expertise – only you can share it the way you can.
  5. My time is already so stretched. How do I fit in the work to really be visible online? This is another key area of your personal branding strategy – mapping out your time and intended frequency online can be one of the best habits to create right at the start. You actually can devote just 15-20 minutes per day once you have established the ground work. You might also consider outsourcing to a virtual assistant specializing in social media communications.
  6. How do I get people to go see my online resources – e.g. CV/resume, website, blog? You can learn to use any of several different models. What works best for me is using tools like Twitter and Facebook to redirect viewers to links that have my content.
  7. I’m afraid about privacy online. If I put myself out there, I’ll be making myself a target for identity theft, right? Great question. I recommend spending time learning how to protect your data online and offline. Just because you don’t have an online presence you have deliberately created yet, does not mean someone can’t already access your personal information. The federal government actually has a site with some great tools and tips to protect your identity online: onguardonline.gov/”>http://www.onguardonline.gov/. This may be a good place to start.

Creating an online presence can launch your career to the next level or set you apart from your competition in a career transition, when it is planned deliberately and with the right resources in place. Spend some time getting to know more about how you can strategically position your career with online branding techniques.

About the Author: Tanya Smith of Be Promotable helps ambitious professional women share their brand brilliance through a powerful online brand presence. To get instant access to her free special report on how to surefire steps to be promotable stop by and visit http://www.bepromotable.com.

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