The way you look online

Impressions in-person and online are more important nowadays than ever before.  With a vast majority of folks using social media, we are front and center with people who could help shape our lives.  Tonight, #u30pro will be discussing how to professionally present yourself online. The chat begins at 8 p.m. EST if you plan to take part.

The tie makes Buster look more "professional."

As I entered the professional world back in the 90s (man, that sounds so old to say), I needed to rely on my resume and a demo tape.  In some senses, the tape was the “early” form of social media because that was my “on-air” persona.

In the last five years, we have seen Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the blogosphere serve as an online portfolio. The importance in this, to me, is that you can be constantly judged by colleagues, employers, and potential employers. How can you prevent someone from getting the wrong impression of you? Here are three ways.

1. Be smart- The old adage “think before you say something” can be re-imagined as “think before you tweet/post on Facebook.” Simply put… If you don’t want to see it retweeted, don’t type it.

2. Be honest- No one- friends or employers- like a fake.  It’s pretty easy to spot a fraud in social circles.  If you want to be taken seriously, show what you are about.  Drop some knowledge!

3. Be engaging- Something I stress in speeches and talks with clients is the importance of engagement.  You can have a Twitter account, but what are you doing with it? Show your networking and communications skills.  Get out there and participate (hint: check out #u30pro).

Are you always thinking about your online presence? If so, what advice would you give? Have at it in the comments section.


About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on February 17, 2011, in Hot Topic, Marketing, Personal Branding, Public Relations, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Great post. I always have my online presence in mind AND since I have a teenager with Facebook, I am thinking of her online presence too.

    I may see it slightly differently than a lot of the #U30’s, though. I love interacting online – I love writing – 140 characters at a time, a status at a time, a post at a time – I’m in. BUT I am concerned that it looks unprofessional if I updated too many times during a workday. My supervisor is quite old school and I don’t think it would be viewed positively to think that I was flitting around social media world. Not to overgeneralize, but many #U30’s I know don’t think twice about that. There’s probably not a right and a wrong but I think it’s an issue – it was one for me as a supervisor – I was worried about subordinates’ fragmented attention spans.

    For my teenager, I just hope she and her friends think before they post too many pix with their tongues hanging out or “cups in their hands” about the scholarships and recommendations they may be needing in a few years — from people who are Social Media active.

    • I think there is still a slight hesitation from some business about how their employees are using social media. In PR, though, it’s necessary for me to do outreach for myself and clients.

      It’s a balancing act, both with revealing information and work flow. If employees’ work isn’t getting done, then something needs to be done.

      Thanks, Paula!

  2. Jason,
    Your point about being engaging is on target with a big moment we had in our family this week. I’ve been introducing my husband to Twitter (the man who hate Facebook and, after two years, is finally understanding that it CAN be used for GOOD).

    He’s been a new “client” of mine on Twitter and FB fan page. He started seeing Twitter mentions sent to his phone this week and it sort of freaked him out. As much as I was trying to avoid the topic, we had a Twitter lesson. That old saying about teaching a loved one…the hardest challenge…? Too true. However, his questions and frustrations taught me a lot and I have great new references for when I speak on the topic. I digress.

    My point, though, is that I was so proud of him when he said “Well, a key thing for me is customer relations – so I want to be sure to reach out, respond and support everyone who reaches out to me.” I grinned from ear to ear and told him he fully understood Twitter. I believe that our true colors do show through social media. As you’ve told me a few times, Jason, just be yourself and success will follow.

    • Rachel,
      We should change your Twitter handle to “ThePersauder!” 🙂

      It’s great to see that your husband is embracing Twitter. He’s right, though. With him getting into social media, he is establishing (hopefully) a positive online presence. It will help with business and, most importantly, customer outreach.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting!

  3. I’d like to add that because of the pervasive nature of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the line between personal and professional presences online is blurring more and more. I post content online the way I’d normally speak in the office, colleague-to-colleague: nothing too upsetting or shocking, but it’s important to still be yourself.

    Thanks for the tips!
    Elizabeth Holtan

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