SLA 2014: ‘I Am Not a Brand!’: Building Your Personal and Professional Profile

by Mary Ellen Bates

You’re a Brand

  • it’s how you show up
  • it’s not what you intended to do, it’s what people see what they interact with them
  • it’s what you’re known for
  • it’s what Google shows about you, you need to show up, because they expect you to be there

Your Message

  • an empty result is a message too
  • email signature file
  • cover memo
  • internal website bio
  • pictures and descriptions
  • recent projects, successes
  • even attendance of conferences
  • where you volunteer, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you and how they perceive you
  • social media

Why Get Social

  • it’s like looking in a phone book, people expect you to show up where they expect you to
  • need to be as findable as possible
  • 40-80% companies used social media to research job candidates

What Matters?

  • 57% professional image
  • 50% good personality
  • 50% wide range of interests
  • 49% background & qualifications
  • 46% creativity – if also have the ability to do the future job

Be Smart

  • keep updates public, but remember that it’s public
  • no political rants (or pick your battles) – be willing to live with consequences if you post
  • easy on the family & vacation photos – okay, but be moderate
  • “about me” updated with professional photo
  • post regularly
  • be authentic
  • create and lead a group if you really want to establish yourself as an expert
  • link with all clients and colleagues
  • give recommendations – shows support, care about the profession
  • post comments, retweet – forward what other people are saying

Ideas on What to Say

  • insights from a conference
  • read others’ blogs, tweets
  • learn (take a class, volunteer)
  • ask questions, conduct a survey
  • share everything – gets more out there even if it’s copied

What to Say

  • what are you passions? what gets you excited?
  • what do you want your next employer to know about you?

For Organizations

  • people tune out fast
  • need to talk about why, not what and in readable ways e.g. “We search premium databases”, no!, change it to “We expand your horizons beyond Google” / “We have a wide range of databases” to “We provide global insights with unfiltered results unlike Google” / “I’m a librarian” to “I enable the discovery of new knowledge”
  • talk about results
  • figure out your value proposition
  • see how others do it (especially vendors who have invested in it, make use of it)
  • it’s not all about you – benefits to users, not features; results, not activity

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

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