In today’s digital world you can’t afford to pause or you’ll get left out, left off or left behind. Having an around-the-clock virtual representation of yourself can be fortuitous, self serving and just plain smart––no matter your circumstances. Maybe you’re gainfully employed and not looking to change. Maybe you don’t think you have a story to tell. Maybe it’s something you’ve been meaning to get to. Or maybe you think you’re beyond needing this whole social media thing (yes, there are those). The digital train is moving quickly and the sooner you get on board and establish a meaningful virtual presence, the better off you’ll be in terms of meeting the requirements of a rapidly evolving new age preference for relationship management.
Whether you’re a college student, new in the workplace, a seasoned executive, a stay-at-home-mom, a community leader or a small business owner, your objective is simple: Bridge the gap between your online presence and your offline persona. Tell your story and tell it well. It should be complete and unpretentious but a comprehensive overview of your background, skills and attributes. There are a whole host of platforms to tell your story, however, the easiest and most effective utility would probably be LinkedIn. It’s well designed and guides you through an organized display of your background, attributes and credentials and allows for easy edit work as you continue to fine tune one of your most important presentations: YOU. LinkedIn not only indexes well with the various search engines and elevates your discoverability, it’s also the pond where all of the major recruiters are fishing. Passive recruiting is rampant and looking your virtual best is both sensible and prudent.
Take your time to do it right and make sure you are the dressed up version of yourself, including a quality (preferably professional) photograph. In other words, be the version of yourself that people see in meetings and other professional and social gatherings. You’ll be on display to the world, so avoid presenting yourself in the equivalent of that old pair of sweats and the wrinkled shirt––save that look for when you’re home alone!
Make no mistake, people are looking at and for you online––more than you might think or want to believe. As a matter of fact, we all have an expanding virtual network of friends and associates and as our tribes grow, person-to-person contact gets less intimate and more difficult. The efficiency of online interactions are becoming more and more of a reality in this digital age and frankly, online interactions are becoming so efficient that they are preferred by many and quickly becoming the norm. Be in charge of your personal narrative. The internet is a powerful megaphone and your virtual presence is a phone book, a business card, a resume, a CV, a publicist and your agent, all rolled into one. It represents you on a 24/7 basis and is available to anyone, anywhere in the world. Maybe it’s a old friend checking up on you, a nosy neighbor, a competitor, a business associate, the person you’re meeting with next, a recruiter, a committee member or a whole host of other opportunity givers… and takers.
Tell your own story or leave it to my imagination.
- Don’t Be That Person! (tommccollum.me)
- I’ve Seen You Online & You Look Nothing Like Yourself (tommccollum.me)
- 10 Things to Love About LinkedIn (digitalsherpa.com)
- Digital Exhaust – - What Kind of Trail Are You Leaving? (tommccollum.me)