Monday, July 5, 2010

Virtual Attraction: Five Rules of the Road for Building your Online Presence

As the job market continues its snail’s pace recovery, it bears noting that now more than ever your virtual footprint should well reflect your achievements, professionalism, savvy and hire-ability. There is no room for compromise when it comes to your profile and track record or what I call your Virtual Data Points. When an HR person or an executive recruiter goes looking for evidence of your worth on the web, make sure it screams your value and integrity.

In celebration of the birth of a nation, here are five road rules to consider to insure that your background and virtual profile send sparks above the rest.

1. Be authentic. Your voice is your word. Don’t embellish beyond reality. Tell the truth. Speak from the heart. Your authentic voice has a way of shining through and shining true.

2. Be strategic. When you blog, tweet, comment, answer questions, post your status or an image or video, consider well what it says about you from the outside. Do you come across smart? Do you portray professionalism and knowledge? Does what you say reflect your true character? Can people divine your value and passion? Are you positioned the way you want?

3. Be a sculptor. Fine tune what you say and how you say it. Whether it is a profile on Facebook, a chirp on Twitter or an answer on Linkedin, think about the content you create. Make sure it leaves the impressions you hope and expect. Fashion your words so that they speak well about your abilities, character, knowledge and thought process.

4. Be a thought leader. If you want people to think well of you, give them something! Add value. Impart wisdom that is yours. Say something meaningful and helpful. Add to the stream, don’t subtract from it.

5. Think before you post! A great rule of the road from time immemorial, “don’t say it, if you don’t want to see it.” Too often in haste, we make left hand comments that later have the potential of diverting our reputation off the straight and narrow. Don’t let it happen. If you want to post out of humor, anger, frustration or fear, first consider the consequences.

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