We learned about how our personal brand comes together using three elements: the basics, appearance, and behavior. The basics are who you are, what you do, and why people should care. Appearance is made up of both your physical appearance and that of your work product. Behavior is your facial expressions, verbal communications, knowing your audience, and with whom you surround yourself.
That picture you posted on Facebook of you holding a red solo cup at a college party, or the inappropriate comment your friend left on one of your posts, can result in your résumé being tossed into the “no” pile. A simple post or comment on Facebook can ruin a job opportunity. You might have had water in that red solo cup, and your friends’ comments could just be jokes, but your future employers do not know that. They've got their brand to be concerned with.
Although social media is a place to connect with friends, share your thoughts, and to remind you when your friends’ birthdays are, the things you post that are normal for you, can come off as inappropriate to a stranger who is considering hiring you. Being consistent with the way you present yourself is very important. Changing the way you present yourself on social media vs. in person, doesn’t show people the best version of you.
This doesn’t mean you have to go and delete all of your social media accounts right now because a friend made a rude comment on one of your posts when you were twelve. However, it does mean that you should chose to present yourself in a respectful way on social media, so that when future employers do check you out, you have nothing to worry about.
At the end of the presentation, Cat handed out printed copies of what our individual Facebook profiles look like to someone who is not our friend. It was helpful to see our profiles from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know us, and see what we should change to give us a better presence online.
As Cat said during her presentation; “If you wouldn’t show it to your mother or your boss, you probably shouldn’t post it.”