If you are a business major, then I am sure you have heard an overwhelming amount about personal branding. “Who you are online is a representation of who you are professionally”…but what does that mean exactly? I am not selling anything…or starting a business…so how does this concept apply to me (a lowly college student)?
Last semester, I took a writing class through the business school that really stressed this idea of a personal brand. At first, I didn’t really understand it. I knew the basics of posting things online (don’t post anything inappropriate, no swearing, etc.) but I didn’t really realize that in addition to DON'Ts when it comes to your online persona, there are also proactive steps that you can take in order to define who you are professionally. The main take away that I got was this: when someone Googles your name or searches for you online, everything that they see should be a professional and accurate representation of who you are (or who you want to be). Curious, I Googled my own name and was surprised to see the results. There was nothing bad, but I did see that old information from high school came up. For example, I ran cross country (quite poorly), and my (embarrassingly low) scores were public for everyone to see.
Once you are content that any negative content is gone, it is important to add positive content so that people get an idea of the real you. I did this by creating a website. My site (epeulen.wordpress.com if you are curious) is now one of the first things that comes up when you search my name, and it is an accurate representation of who I am. It shows my values, my goals and my employment dreams. I am confident that anyone who sees it will know that I am professional, and want my personal brand to reflect that.
So, what does your personal brand say about you?