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Brand Yourself, and Do it Well

3 Oct

I was required to make a LinkedIn account for a class a few years back, for God knows what reason. Looking back at the page I created, I think it was required as some form of public humiliation. When I pulled up the page, I was not aware of the bumbling mess I had made. I had entered in the jobs that would only qualify me to pump gas for the rest of my life. I was embarrassed by the profile I concocted. I might as well have uploaded my Myspace page. Although, I am almost positive that not even Tom would have connected with me.

So I was required to read this book. It’s called Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself by, Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy. For those of you wanting to improve your brand image, read it. The LinkedIn chapter (among Facebook, Twitter, and blogging chapters) lays out the do’s and dont’s of using this medium. After reading the chapter, I went back to my LinkedIn page and deleted it. I couldn’t bare trying to salvage what was left of my not even completed train wreck  highlighting my clerical experience at a grocery store as well as my ability to mix coffee. Not to say that my experience at Dunkin Donuts and Captain John’s Whale Watch were positions to scoff at, but as an aspiring college student who dreams of working outside of retail it’s  just not going to cut it. I am going to start from scratch and perfect my LinkedIn account no matter how long that may take.

LinkedIn is such a valuable source to promote your professional experience and achievements. Not only do you get to talk yourself up, but you can establish connections with other professionals who may even be potential employers. It’s like the anti-Facebook. Both are sources to talk about yourself, but one can land you a job while the other can land you a screenshot on smosh from when you tried to Google something embarrassing and ended up posting it on Facebook. (people do that)

Moral of the story: Don’t create a profile just for a grade (if you have to, at least try to make it look good). Do it because it will help you establish a professional and personable online image that will hopefully lead to bigger and better opportunities.

Joe Wadlington

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