“Your personal online branding is very important. Employers will look at what groups you’re part of, the photographs you’ve been tagged in, and comments you’ve made on other people’s blogs; negative feedback you’ve left can really go against you.” – Julie Bishop 
The above quote does not intend to discourage anyone commenting on this blog but instead introduce the idea of a ‘personal online brand’. You can read more here on how this differs from corporate branding. A BBC video mentions how, increasingly, people and brands are blending together, which supports Nyman’s view that ‘nowadays you need to market yourself, not just apply for the job’. By treating our online personas like a brand, we can start developing an authentic online professional profile.
This video has 5 great tips on developing your personal brand, and marketing yourself using social media:
Marketing ourselves professionally online echoes back to the idea of managing our online presentation and reputation in Topic 2. In terms of professionalism and employability, we have to place ourselves in our employer’s shoes. Some recruiters, like Ashley Hever, don’t believe in checking candidate’s social media, arguing it is invasive and is ‘a bit like rifling through someone’s drawers’.  However, social recruiting is now considered to be the norm, and ‘55% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social profile with 61% of those reconsiderations being negative’.
Nyman argues this can be avoided if we ‘do an audit of [our] online presence’.  The first step is to ‘Google’ ourselves (we’d be idiots not to, according to this article), and from here assess our online professionalism and privacy settings. Alternatively, websites like Reppler can do all the hard work for you.
However, a personal online brand is more than just privacy settings or having a LinkedIn account. It’s about using social media to your advantage. By finding the right voice for your intended audience and engaging with the right people online, you can improve and develop your professional profile in a positive and authentic way. Blogging, for example, is a great way to show your passion and commitment, whether related to the industry you intend to enter, or a hobby. Being consistent is also key – with blog posts, and your ‘brand image’. Your photo, for example, should be of a high quality and the same across social media accounts in order to increase authenticity.
This slideshare explores how to ‘brand yourself’ with a professional, ‘external’ audience in mind:
Ultimately, social media can either support your personal online brand and your professional identity, or it can hinder it. If you are managing your personal ‘branding’ on the internet correctly, and managing your privacy settings properly, in theory you have nothing to worry about when people Google your name. You might even welcome it.
 Josie Gurney – Read, ‘ Students – Use This Summer for a Social Media Clean – Up’,The Telegraph <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/student-life/10214359/Students-use-this-summer-for-a-social-media-clean-up.html>
 Nik Nyman, ‘Using Social Media in Your Job Search, <http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/>
 Ashley Hever, ‘How to use Social Media to get a Graduate Job’, The Telegraph <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/student-life/11359730/How-to-use-social-media-to-get-a-graduate-job.html>
 Jobvite, ‘2014 Social Recruiting Survey’, <https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf> ,(p. 2)
 Nik Nyman, ‘Curating your online profile’, (2013) <http://www.neilsrecruitment.co.uk/2014/01/curating-your-online-profile/>