Wednesday, 14 August 2013

I've Seen You Online - You Look Nothing Like Yourself!

Its true. I looked at several of your online profiles and you appear to be nothing like yourself in person. The pictures you're using aren't very flattering--you're much more attractive in person! And the background and accomplishments you've listed make modest look a bit egocentric. If I didn't know better I'd think you were making a concerted effort to be as unimpressive as possible. In the for-what-its-worth category, I'm afraid an opportunity giver wouldn't give you a second look. You can only hope that the people looking at you online know you better than your profile would suggest.

Guess what? Fat chance--casual relationships as well as complete strangers are looking and evaluating and some may have an offer you wouldn't want to miss out on... at least not on purpose! In today's world of virtual relationships, you can't afford to be modest. If you don't promote you, who will? Person-to-person contact continues to give way to the efficiency of online interactions and it's become very simple, if not convenient, to access profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Qnary, Brand Yourself, About Me or a host of other platforms to learn more about you.

Frankly, with search engine functionality being what it is, you will be found and the million dollar question is this: Will your profile merit a second look? Whether it's a passive recruiting effort, a social opportunity or someone simply checking you out prior to or after a meeting, the digital version of yourself might just be the first and only chance you have to make that important first impression. It doesn't matter if you occupy the corner office or you're a stay-at-home-mom, people are looking--you can count on that! Maybe it's a neighbor, a supervisor, the HR department, a recruiter, the person you're meeting with next, the person you just met with or a start-up parsing through profiles for a particular expertise.

Unfortunately, many people stand out in person but simply blend in online. Here's your challenge: Can you bridge the gap between your offline persona and your online profile? Can you properly portray a dressed up digital version of yourself? You have an expanding virtual network of online relationships and if you don't make your personal presence a bit stickier, you will continue to be part of that vast sea of sameness--both anonymous and irrelevant in an online sense. In today's digital world and just a small step beyond your immediate person-to-person sphere of influence, visibility and opportunity go hand in hand.

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