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How to build your professional profile

18 Nov 09:00 by Not Going to Uni

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The skills you’ve honed acquiring followers on Instagram can help you catch the eye of potential employers. By building a following on professional platforms like LinkedIn, you give yourself a chance to stand out from the crowd.

 

Want to create a personal brand that might just give you an edge in a crowded jobs market?

Want to create a personal brand that might just give you an edge in a crowded jobs market?

Social media, of course, is the place to start. You’ve probably already used Instagram to impress friends. Great, because impressing potential employers is a very similar process: the more (authentic) followers you have, the greater your chance of attracting the attention of someone who matters. All you need to do is switch platforms.

LinkedIn is a great social media platform for entering the world of work. It’s made for professionals – and used by them. The profile you create on it will probably look a bit like your CV. The end result should be a showcase of all your skills and relevant achievements. Be confident in them – you need them to help you cut through a lot of noise on a busy networking site. As you put your profile together, ask yourself the same questions you would ask if you were writing your CV: do I look professional? Do I have all my qualifications and achievements visible? Would I hire someone if their profile looked this?

LinkedIn, though, is a bit more than just a PDF or piece of A4 paper. And this is where it can make a difference for you. Once you’ve got a professional profile you like, dive in and start interacting with other users and engaging with content. You can even be proactive: if you’re looking for opportunities, say so in a post.

Don’t judge the success of that post by the number of replies you get straightaway. There might be people who don’t reply but, because they saw the post, they think of you when they do hear of an opportunity down the line. Similarly, don’t be disheartened if you find people disagreeing with other content you might share. There will (almost) always be someone who disagrees. Just remember to be professional: consider the point they are making in full and respond accordingly.

Your professional profile on LinkedIn is just one aspect of your personal brand. Other platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter encourage you to express yourself in different ways, but it’s important to bear in mind they all link back to you. Maintain your personality across all of them, but also consider what a prospective employer would think if they came across your content on any of those platforms.

Not that this should stop you being funny. You want your social media efforts to make an impact; and one of the proven ways to make an impact is to be funny. For example, have a look at the Twitter account of Italian football club AS Roma. As well as covering all of the team news and the important stuff, it branches out into memes, jokes and original content about current news stories. The result is more followers and ever-growing levels of engagement.

This could seem daunting: AS Roma has more than half a million Twitter followers and you probably have far fewer. But everyone starts on zero. And if you really want to put a positive spin on it, the only way is up.

More importantly, you’re in control. You have the freedom to explore the platforms, communities and topics that might work for you and help you market yourself in the right way. And if you can market yourself successfully, what better way to show a prospective employer in marketing that you have what it takes to succeed in this industry?

 

For marketing opportunities, see Not Going To Uni.