Ashton Sixth Form College: Building Your Personal Brand in a Digital Age
Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing
12 February 2019
Building Your Personal Brand in a Digital Age
Today’s Plan: Digital Literacy
• What do you know about each other?
• Making yourself look good
• Optimising for social media platforms
• Do your research
• Setting up an action plan
"digital literacy defines those
capabilities which fit an individual
for living, learning and working in a
Benefits of social media in your job search (Guardian, 2018)
• You can apply for advertised roles easily and quickly
• You are more visible to recruiters who are using social media to
advertise their jobs and source candidates
• You can build your network and engage with a wider audience
across multiple social channels
• You can create positive PR by presenting testimonials,
endorsements and presentations of your work onto your social
media accounts, blog and/or website
• You can speak to recruiters, head-hunters and prospective
employers throughout your job search by engaging with them
across all channels in real time
Some estimate that
upwards of 85% of
open positions are
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
“It is worthwhile
carrying out a search
like this at least once a
month to make sure
that there is no
that you wouldn’t want
a potential employer to
Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash
Before you post….
Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash
• Younger Kids
• Your worst
“When you apply for a new job, many employers will try to find and
evaluate your social media presence to ascertain if you are a
A misjudged tweet from years ago or an inappropriate Facebook
photo can destroy future job prospects or ruin a career. A Google
search that reveals an old conviction can make it more difficult to
become hired, and -- whether true or not -- allegations of criminal
conduct spread online can cause misery.”
If someone can’t find you online,
they’re actually going to think
there’s something very strange
about that and not trust you. In
the digital sense, not having
great profiles online is the same
as not turning up to a meeting.
Natasha Courtenay-Smith (2018)
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Vision & Values
• What is important to
• What do you stand for?
• What do you stand
Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash
Providing the positive …
What words would you
associate with positive
traits when job hunting?
•Passion for subject
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash
Finding the right words…
• Words are KEY – what words do you want people to associate
with you, remember about you, and find you via search?
• Some useful websites:
Be Found: Keywords
• Name (s)
• Job title (s)
• Industry jargon, acronyms,
• (Dream) company name (s)
Photo by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇵🇵🇵 on
• 530 million current users
• Corporate companies use
• Sharing job postings
• Look up potential hires
• Ask current staff about potential hires
• Online CV. Make sure you:
• Update profile
• Make connections
• Join groups
• 2,271 million active users (still growing)
• Ask friends for any jobs related to your
interests, and/or refer you to people in
• Like company pages
• Join groups in your interest area, join
conversations, ask for opportunities
• Search ‘Jobs on Facebook’
• 326 million current users
• Understand more about the company
applying to from their posts
• Find jobs: common jobsearch hashtags:
• Job title keywords (#marketing
#manager #advertising #sales)
• 1,000 million active users
• Demonstrate your passion for your job
search field by posting about it frequently -
• Use appropriate hashtags, e.g.
• Make the most of visual options –
especially photography students
• 1,900 million active users
• Set up your own channel, and give
video samples of your work
• Most frequent search term ‘How Do I?’
– can you capitalise on this?
• Demonstrate your presentation and
• Consider an ‘elevator pitch’ highlighting
your career related skills and passions
• 400 million on Tumblr alone
• 26% of blogs are on Wordpress
• You can SHOW rather than TELL
prospective employers that you are
passionate about their field.
• Offer guest posts to blogs with bigger
followings in your field
• Comment on other people’s blogs, IF you
have something to say
• Blog about what you know, and explore content that relates to
your desired job.
• Ensure that the material is accurate and well written – and
optimised to keywords.
• Comment on press coverage and market trends relevant to your
• Avoid negative rants on a blog.
• Think carefully about any mix of personal/professional
• More useful tips: http://bit.ly/CareerEnl
Other Social Media Platforms?
• Pinterest: Create appropriate boards collecting material
together, or demonstrate collections of own work
• Snapchat: Follow potential employers, learn about
companies/industries, tell a story, show your creativity
• Wakelet: Collect together tweets, insta, etc. from an event, or
content from across the web to demonstrate your knowledge
• Reddit: Look up e.g. /jobsearchhacks/
Keep producing content, join conversations, and be findable
for key terms:
“You just wrote an awesome article about the latest features of Adobe InDesign
and what that means for graphic designers everywhere. You shared it on social
media. Friends and family shared and retweeted your article. People loved it.
Your future employer will be knocking on your door any second, right? Wrong.
Establishing a consistent voice will not only help establish you as an expert in
your field, which is an attractive quality to potential employers, your content will
also be more likely to be displayed on a search engine results page. Start by
producing at least one quality piece of content a week and then try to increase
that to a daily output.”
‘Being’ on Social Media
• Make connections
• Avoid broadcasting – engage instead – listen and respond
• Repeat sparingly, link to other social media
• Tone: friendly, real, genuine
• Keep ‘selling’ to only 5%
• ENJOY IT
Research Research Research
• Learn about the industry you want to join
• Learn about the companies in that industry
• Learn about the people in those companies
• Learn about the platforms and tools those people use
• Learn about the content they are sharing on those platforms
JOIN IN ON THE RIGHT PLATFORMS
• Follow relevant companies and individuals in your industry or
network, learn about them (in general, and for job interviews)
• Get involved in Facebook and LinkedIn Groups related to your
industry and let people on there know the type of role you are
• Initiate conversations with individuals and companies on any
interesting topics related to your industry on other social media
• Keep up to date with the news in the field, in the industry –
develop thoughts, opinions, recommendations…
Set up a social media plan of action
What are you going to do over the next month to develop your
social media presence and engagement?
•Define 10-15 keywords you want to be found by: think about the
kind of content you could produce around there.
•Define the platforms where you want to develop content.
•Define at least 5 places to look for further information and job
opportunities, or companies that you want to follow on social
What do you want people to
know about you, and where do
you want them to find you?
PRODUCE & ENGAGE THERE!
Notes de l'éditeur
Something interactive, 45-90 minutes, pref 60 mins. Anything focusing on building your own brand, being aware of your image on social media, building a creative CV and showing individuality and creativity when applying for jobs or tendering for work as a freelance artist would be great.
Half of the students have signed up to &apos;Digital Creative Media&apos; and the other half to &apos;Photography and Marketing&apos; so anything that would appeal to both groups would be perfect…. Welcome questions throughout…
[It will be a generic classroom where you will have access to a computer and projector. The majority of students will be year 12, there potentially could be year 13s as I will open up the session to everyone, so they will all be 16-18. It should be a group of around 10-15.]
1) What is the power of social media + what can people know about you – both positive and negative?
Social Media – all about RELATIONSHIPS, so I’ve got a little exercise for you – I’ll time on phone.
Obviously, you know each other, but I want to give you 60 seconds to try and find something in common, outside of being here, and outside of school…
Essentially what you’ve done is connect ‘via Twitter’ – which is obviously one form of social networking… essentially what you are doing online is building relationships (possibly building upon face-to-face conversations, or possibly starting new conversations that might lead to further conversations offline, or on other online platforms)… so part of what you’ll need to think about is who is on what platforms…
People like to employ people that they know, that they can trust – and social media gives a chance to build up that trust – even if you go for a job via a job advert, you are still likely to be ‘searched’ by a recruiter so…
If they are in a computer room, or have their phones with them – get them to look online for themselves, and then for a friend – see if the results are the same…
http://thomaslancaster.co.uk/blog/how-to-search-for-yourself-online-using-google/ (2012, but advice still stands)
So, for example this is what comes up when I search for myself – which might not be the same as you get … one of the things that I do is put A LOT of work into providing information online … especially if you have a common name, or are in competition with e.g. Harry Potter - you’re going to have to work harder to be found…
Don’t forget to check images too, and see what’s coming up for those…
Before I post, this is who I’m thinking of as to who could DO something with my data, or get upset about it, etc…
I’m more of an encourager for thinking about how you can put positive information online, but there may also be times that you want to remove information, and this blog post is a recent one, telling you how you can delete content…
They note that you also need to think about the data that is collected about you by your phones, etc… but we’re not really looking at that today.
Give them 5 minutes to be thinking of words that they want to be found for… g
Exercise: take 5-10 minutes to work through possible keywords for self – mix of what you want, and what you think people are looking for…
Space/time for live demos? Think what pointers would make..
There are many different platforms you can use, but in order to find (and be found) jobs, then these are good platforms…
Video: 2:52 minutes … how to use LinkedIn (and Twitter)
Can also do the same with next platform….
Can also do passion for job on Twitter…
It’s hard work to build up following on your own blog, so think about other places to post your content, and be picked up by an audience who is already interested and waiting…
Commenting and engaging on other people’s social media posts is also key for any of the other social media platforms we’ve talked about..
Use own blog largely as a scrapbook – helps people find me easily, including the media (ended up on The One Show, BBC News, BBC Breakfast, Radio 5, Radio 2, etc because I’m easy to find!).