Thing Three: Consider your personal brand

Posted: July 10, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

I Google myself on a fairly regular basis – perhaps because I’m paranoid, perhaps because I’m vain … but mostly to keep an eye on what’s out there and what other people (including prospective employers) can see about me.

Pleasingly, most of the results I get are good reflections on myself as an active information professional, including my Twitter page, the blog I used when I was a graduate library trainee, and a couple of pages from the recent New Professionals’ Conference. Towards the bottom of the first page are a couple of non-library references to me, reflecting some of my other interests: quizzing and Amnesty International.

The top result was my Facebook page. Clicking on this would, if you’re not my friend on Facebook, not tell you very much about me. I’ve chosen to have things this way. I used to have quite a strict line that “Facebook is for friends and fun, Twitter is for work and networking.” That has now blurred a little bit, as I’ve added some colleagues as friends on Facebook, and follow some friends on Twitter. Nonetheless, I try to keep my Twitterfeed for portraying an image of me that I’m happy for anyone in my sector (or beyond) to see. The colleagues I’ve added as friends on Facebook are generally people I’d happily go to the pub with anyway, so I wouldn’t be too embarassed if they saw any daft pictures of me!

Most of the Google results are accidental i.e. I’ve made little attempt to cultivate a web brand or to push certain sites to the top of a Google search. When I’ve made my blog into something that would take longert than 30 seconds to read, I may try and push that a bit more and make sure more things link to it. A LinkedIn profile would also look good as a Google result.

Interestingly, I saw an article in the Guardian, ‘Build Brand You’, which discussed becoming an ‘Elvis’ figure in the workplace – i.e. the interesting, go-to-person that everyone remembers. One anecdote in this article was about a wannabe advertising employee. He knew that all good creative directors would regularly Google themselves. So, he utilised Google AdWords so that, when certain top creative directors Googled themselves, they’d see an advert saying “Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun too.” Apparently it cost him $6, he got two job offers and he’s now a senior copywriter at a New York advertising agency.

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