Hello internet world! It sure has been a while since I blogged. I have some great news…I recently secured two PR internships for the school year and over the summer. Needless to say, I am very excited!

It dawned on me though that as I prepare to enter the professional world, I need to begin to protect my brand on social media. Like many of our parents and teachers have stressed, it is time to say goodbye to any pictures or posts that might make us appear as a “crazy college kids” and begin to consider the image we portray on the internet.  One way I can do this is by creating a professional LinkedIn.

“LinkedIn is an enigma. It now has some 260 million users, and it’s a daily routine for millions of ambitious professionals. But millions of others reluctantly create profiles, feel guilty for not having a stronger profile, and wonder, ‘Does anybody really get a better job through this thing anyway?’

Some do, but that’s not really the point. The point is that you need to take control of your personal and professional branding on the Internet.

For most people, their LinkedIn profile isn’t just their online resume, it’s a window into their existence. It allows others to quickly find out about your background, your competence, your network–and, above all, your sense of self.”

That being said, I believe it is important that in this day in age individuals consider the identity they create on the web, especially on sites such as LinkedIn.  They can be useful, but must be managed efficiently and strategically.  For instance, LinkedIn provides the opportunity to network, make connections, and create a community of individuals who share similar professional aspirations.  However, what you put on the web is out their for everyone to see.  In order to protect your personal brand, you must consider your audience and who is monitoring your web activity.

Similar to Facebook and Twitter, mastering the art of LinkedIn comes down to a science! In a recent article from Forbes Magazine, writer Rob Asghar provides a quick assessment of how you can be judged on sites like LinkedIn.  He states that:

  1. A complete lack of a LinkedIn profile sends a mixed signal
  2. Having a profile but not posting a photo sends a negative message
  3. A complete profile speaks volumes
  4. No one wants to see you brag
  5. Too few connections sends a bad message
  6. Don’t be boring or stodgy

Recently, LinkedIn has also begun to re-brand itself.   

“LinkedIn Corp is attempting to become more like Facebook Inc by encouraging all members to generate a steady stream of shareable articles, a perk once available only to well-known business personalities.

The move, which the company hopes will generate more interest in the site, comes two weeks after LinkedIn disclosed that page views slipped for the second consecutive quarter.

The professional networking site said  it will algorithmically distribute career-related articles written by any users on its “Influencer program,” a blogging platform previously available only to businesspeople who were invited to contribute, including well-known names like former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and billionaire Richard Branson.

By opening the program to everybody, LinkedIn hopes its users will generate a steady stream of shareable content, providing a white-collar twist on how Facebook supplies its users a continuous stream of pictures or links from their friends.”

Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn is attempting to provide its audience with more choices to vamp their own image.  It is a smart marketing tool that will generate an increase in profile usage and put more focus on the importance of branding.

My point in all of this: I need a LinkedIn.  I need to create a more professional image on the web if I want to be considered by future employers as a serious candidate.  I need to focus on establishing and then protecting my own brand on the web.

Now that our identities are based on the content we put up on the web, we must shift branding practices and establish a stronger emphasis on branding via the internet.  And in my opinion, LinkedIn is one step in the right professional direction to do so.

Keep it up LinkedIn!!!!