The following are some suggestions on how to build a professional online persona:
Presence: Open at least one social media or blog account.
Specialize: Define an area of interest and build around it. A five-minute online search should reveal what you represent. You need to differentiate yourself and showcase your core skills and unique capabilities to potential hiring managers.
Accuracy: Always remember that once that post goes online, you may not control who sees it. If you lie on your accomplishments, your classmate or co-worker is just an IP address away from challenging it. Make it accurate – always, otherwise, you will destroy your persona.
Comprehensive: While blog should be short, once in a while, develop comprehensive articles in your field and post them online. It could mean expanding a class project you worked on, adding more contents, and fully proving your expertise. Half-baked contents will not take you too far.
Judgment: What you post or share online defines who you are. Your profile defines you – values, interests and reliability. For employers, they want reliable team leaders and you must not offer less in your web personality.
Vertical Integration: Seek to connect with people ahead of you professionally while building a horizontally network.
Generosity: Share and exchange good ideas. Invite people to your network and be generous to promote good ideas from others. Write professional reviews on books, journals and articles. In no distant time, people will reward you.
Policy Matters: If you are working, ensure you adhere to policies on using the company’s name online. There is a threat that you could be a source of data leakage that can hurt competitiveness. Your profile must not be another portrait of your employer – you must be wise to separate both, where necessary.
Continuity: Professional online branding is a continuous work-in-progress that requires constant tune-ups of networks, contents and profiles. It must be constantly nurtured.