Tag Archives: linkedin

Digital Self-Branding Issues and Concerns: How can I stand out from the crowd online if my name’s John Smith?

20 May



  As one blogger from an online PR company notes, the name “John Smith” pulls up 33,369 profiles on LinkedIn (http://www.prweb.com/releases/linkedin/cvlynk/prweb9029204.htm). Admittedly this is not a problem I face  myself, as I am among the lucky ones with an extremely rare name (as far as I am aware I am currently the only Anna Clancy-Stride online, and therefore my LinkedIn comes up on the first page of google results.) However, after some light research, I have come to conclusion that those with a more common name can work to create an individual & unique professional profile, and it seems there are a number of ways you can differentiate yourself from the other “John Smiths” around.

  Firstly, as branding consultant Kimberly Bordonaro suggests, you could use a variation of your own name in order to stand out from the rest. Thinking about this, I have a handful of friends who have taken to using their more unusual middle names instead of their surname on their Facebook or twitter accounts. Or perhaps you have a unique (yet still professionally suitable) nickname, or perhaps there is another abbreviation you could use. So if you were called Charlotte Jane Smith, perhaps you could create your online identity as C.J.Smith (http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/common-name-branding.html).

      A personal idea- perhaps it is worthwhile to create a Gravitar if you are trying to battle against a common name, to keep your various profiles consistent, interlinked, & to differentiate yourself. There is also the option of using a service such as Vizibility (www.vizibility.com) or BrandYourself (www.BrandYourself.com) to help you appear further up in the search engine results, but this is far from ideal as you would have to pay. Having said that, if you planned to start a business in your name it might be an option worth considering after carrying out a Cost/Benefit analysis.  (it should also be noted that BrandYourself and Vizibility offer their most basic services for free).


        What is more, Self-branding advisers emphasise the significance of linking your profiles together as much as possible, via an About.me page or just by posting links to your other profiles on all of your accounts (http://vizibility.net/blog/can-a-linkedin-profile-vouch-for-you-if-your-name-is-buried/). They place a lot of emphasis once again on connecting with influencers and networking in order to get your personal brand to be noticed above the other “John Smith’s” and improve your profile’s activity and therefore its’ search engine results.

    So to conclude, yes it definitely is harder for those with a more common name to stand out, but it’s not unachievable. There are many ways round to differentiate yourself, you would just have to be a little more creative and think outside the box…


http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/common-name-branding.html- Advice from branding consultant Kimberly Bordonaro

https://vizibility.com/SignupOrLogin/P/78c1dac3544844059ee71529f1b95eb4  Vizibility

http://www.prweb.com/releases/linkedin/cvlynk/prweb9029204.htm PRWeb   onlineidentity blog

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2011/03/30/how-to-improve-your-online-identity  U.S News, How to Improve your Online Identity.

Going Digital: Why a Successful Professional Profile should be Authentic and Actively Engaging

20 May

ImageSince the explosion of the internet, and more specifically social media, there have been fundamental changes in the way in which business is carried out.  We are moving in to what could describe as the “4th economy”, within which the internet plays a large part in the not only business transactions, but the recruitment process as well. With 75% of HR departments worldwide required to review their candidates’ online presence before interviewing, it is obvious that job-seekers need to be creating and maintaining a professional online profile in order to give them a competitive advantage. They need to be controlling their online image (removing dodgy facebook photos and promoting their professional profiles and blogs) in such a way that they create what Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic describes as a “self-brand”.

     As an article recently published by the Guardian stresses, it is important to not just simply regurgitate your CV when building your online professional profiles, but to create a dynamic and multi-dimensional picture of yourself as a whole – which also works to make your persona more authentic and original. There are a number of different ways that you can add depth and personality to your LinkedIn profile, for example by including recommendations from colleges (which also adds credibility), and by adding blogposts, or links to your twitter account, and regularly updating your information (Guardian, 2013). You could also upload a video CV onto Youtube, so the real-life you can be put across.

           With 70% of jobs found through personal connections, it is also important to use your online profiles in order to connect with influential others and network online. For example you can join and participate in discussions on various groups on LinkedIn which are related to areas of business that interest you, or you can request to connect with those (who might already be loosely connected to you) who are already involved in the field you want to work in (Linked In, 2010). Similarly you can follow and like companies of interest to you on Facebook and twitter, and therefore display your interest.

   Overall, although it should be stressed that the creation and maintenance of an authentic online professional profile is both effortful and time-consuming, the statistics suggest that your work will reap rewards through work to increase your employability.

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