Personal Branding has become a popular topic in the blogosphere and over social media these days. Personal Branding is about managing your reputation (online reputation being especially important these days) like you would manage an actual brand i.e. sort of a self-packaging exercise.
Having a good branding strategy means positioning yourself for the relevant job market that you would like to enter. Portraying a consistent image on all your personal touch points would help prospective employees assess your passions and fit with their organizational culture. In this age where social networking has become so popular, this often equates to a consistent and clean social media identity.
Social Media Clean-up
It has become common practice for HR personnel to look up prospective employs over LinkedIn or Facebook. Even when my company was preparing to interview some interns, we did a quick search over the Internet to find out who we were going to be talking to, and what their experiences were.
Social media lets prospective employers understand you better and what makes you tick. This can work to your advantage if you have optimized your social media touch points for such an event. The knife cuts both ways. A hirer would not be able to do that if the first photo that he sees of you dead-drunk at a party. Make sure that you have carefully audited your ‘brand’ touch points to present an appealing part of yourself.
What is often missing in articles about Personal Branding I feel, is that optimising your touch points should not be about painting false impressions. If you are not who you say you are over the Net, it would become clear when you are part of the organisation. It would also mean that your job might not fit you as well as you would have liked.
At the end of the day, it is important to present the best side of yourself that is well, still yourself.