The YOU Brand

Will you do a little favor for me?

First, go to www.google.com. Second, type your full name on the search bar.

What pages appear on the list? Your Facebook account? Twitter? LinkedIn? None?

This is what employers do nowadays. They search for your name on Google then click on the links that give “hints” about you — your personality, profile, what you look like and how you think.

Social networking sites are, in the end, not for networking alone. They go beyond connecting you with your friends and relatives. They go beyond being a sanctuary of your thoughts and daily rants. They go beyond making yourself visible online. Social networking is packaging yourself. Social networking is about the YOU brand.

Why brand yourself?

Okay, let me share my experience.

Earlier this year, my friends and I went job hunting in Makati for our summer internship. After a few weeks, I finally got a call from a company asking me for my interview schedule and requested that I bring a portfolio. How happy I was! During the interview, they reviewed my resume and just skimmed through my portfolio. The 15-minute interview was spent mostly with the panel, screening my Tumblr site.

This is what the bosses saw on my Tumblr page.

They asked me why my pictures were like that, where I got the concept of my photos, do I know how to edit photos, what software do I use for editing, etc.

When you click the photo, you’ll know that the page was mustache-loaded. I had quite an obsession with mustaches at that time, so, I really don’t know how the bosses interpreted those pictures.

See? What you post on your website tells a lot about you! It’s not enough that you submit a very competitive resume or an impressive compilation of your works. At the end of the day, before finally deciding that they would hire you, your employers  conduct a background check!

A friend once heard this conversation between his bosses while one of them was checking the Facebook page of an applicant.

Boss 1: Tignan mo ‘tong picture nya sa Facebook o!

Boss 2: Patingin!

Boss 1: Oh my god. Hindi sya dapat nagpopose ng ganyang picture! Hahaha! *inserts a sarcastic remark* ‘Di nya ba naisip na pwedeng i-check natin yung profile niya?

What should you do now?

It became my hobby to check the Arts section of a bookstore to read about food, fashion, interior designing, DIYs, etc. I don’t know, I just feel like all these art stuff bring me to a whole new world of creativity. I once dropped by National Bookstore and came across this book about Photography.

When your vanity is put to good use.

I found out that the author (or photographer), Miss Aniela, all started by posting her pictures on Flickr. She did not have any formal training on photography, but her boredom in the university gave her enough time to learn the tricks in this field. She soon got lots of positive recognition from Flickr users and got interviews from TV networks. She’s now a full-time photographer, blogger and entrepreneur. She conducts workshops, photo shoots with models, photo exhibitions and sells prints of her artworks.

If you check out her works, you’ll know that aside from vanity, she surely got talent. But the more important point here was her use of social media. God-given talents are made for sharing, right?

Check out her website at www.missaniela.com.

So to all you guys who are reading this, here’s a quick tip:

Reflect on this: What do you like doing the most? It's your turn to share it.

Am I REALLY “ONLINE”?

During our SPCOM137 (Conference leadership and group discussion) class, our team tackled Personal Branding for a group discussion activity. While reading some articles for matter loading, I came across a topic about Google Quotient. It’s pretty much the same thing I let you did earlier, but this time, this online application gives you a concrete measurement of your online presence.

Online Identity Calculator “is the first and leading tool that will help you make sense of your Google results and give you advice on how to build a stellar online identity that’s aligned with your real-world personal brand.”

How do I interpret my results? (A summary by William Arruda)

I’ve checked mine, and honestly, I have a lot to work on. I shall begin this journey of personal branding with this comm blog of mine.

So for now, ciao!

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21 thoughts on “The YOU Brand

  1. I tried it and it was pretty much okay HAHA but I didn’t know that putting quotation marks make the search result more relevant 🙂 Thanks Erica!

    • WOW! what was your result, Arlet? Like I said, share it! Haha!

      I wasn’t also aware of the importance of putting quotation marks in making search results relevant until I came across the application. Read my Facebook status, I shall now protect my tweets. HAHAHA!

  2. I couldn’t have said any better. It’s true, Erica, that we should be really cautious about the information that we disclose on-line. I once googled my name and saw a lot of results and I started editing my personal settings and delimited the info that I share about myself.

    One good way to actually “hide” your identity on-line is by using nicknames or aliases. Before, I used my full name, too but upon learning the “dangers” of displaying my full name, I changed my user name to my nick name.

    And yeah, I bet that your interview was nerve-wracking. If that happened to me, I don’t know what I could have done. HAHAHA. Luckily, I don’t have Twitter, Tumblr, etc. only Facebook, WordPress which are SAFE for my bosses to see. 🙂

    • Yes, Isa! I heard you got a very good result for the Online ID calculator! I already told you the result of mine, and I should thank you for your advice. I think I really should filter what links would come out whenever my name is Googled.

      The interview was really surprising! I was expecting a formal panel interview but that was not what happened. The other applicants panicked when they learned that the panel would view their website. Most of our thoughts were, “What was my blog/pages’ content? What was my status in Facebook?” Or , “What if they viewed my blog and saw my negative post about person X?”

      But the interview was fun, in fact! It was less formal and more personal. 🙂

  3. Right!The use of social media oftentimes, if not most, comes with branding especially for us. And we should always take into consideration consistency. Though parang minsan mahirap kasi may gusto tayo ipost o ishare na hindi naman in-line sa ginagawa natin..hehe

    Nevertheless, share something! Malay natin in our little ways of sharing to others what we can offer, may mga magagandang bagay na dadating din ,just like your example about the photographer, Ms. Aniela. =)

    btw, your blog is a reminder for me to be cautious of my activities and outputs online. So thanks!
    (^_^)

    • Yes, Pris! I agree with you about filtering what we post on our sites. Yes, it’s ours, but we should always consider the fact that whatever we post online, will be available worldwide. For the thoughts that we’d like to share or express, maybe, we should keep a personal journal instead and write them all there.

      Actually, good things can come through our comm blogs. Maybe, we could compile the best posts our batch has and then publish and sell it as a book! HAHA! Wouldn’t it be beneficial for us, as OrCom practitioners, and for the degree program as well? HAHA! Just a spur-of-the-moment idea.

      Thank you, Pris!

      • haha..pwede pwede! =D
        kahit nga free eh..hehe

        You could even suggest the compilation idea to Sir Barry. 🙂 I think it would be great to have collections of note-worthy/sharing posts OrCom students wrote.

        Good job Erica! (^_^)

  4. Great read, Erica!

    I was also able to read a relevant article about this. Maybe you’d want to check it out. Here’s the link.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Social-Media-History-Becomes-nytimes-510406413.html?x=0&.v=1

    With the presence of social media, we are already vulnerable to this. HR managers nowadays can easily google our names to find out more about us . It might sound unfair for they might get false information about us but first impressions usually last. Because of this, we, as future applicants have the responsibility to protect ourselves and maintain a clean reputation in the online community. We can protect ourselves by filtering our posts or just not post anything offensive. We should be careful for the simple things that we put on the net might jeopardize our employment.

    I hope we discuss this in class for it is very important. I’m glad we have a course subject like OC152 where we can discuss the effects of social media.

  5. It’s such an important thing to know this vulnerability we acquired ever since we utilized the new social media platforms. It’s like being transparent and honest when your online. Our personalities should translate to the things we do online. At the end of the day, it’s me who’s online anyway, not a different person.

    Kung di mo siya kayang gawin sa totoo mong buhay, wag mo rin siyang gawin online. Yun na.

    Cheers!

  6. I actually Googled my name. The sad thing is, may isa pang Joshua Samarista na hindi ko kilala. And he’s the top 3 in the results! How wicked is that!? Hahaha!

    I think this is the weakness of the You Brand. Many Filipinos have common names and surnames like John, Paolo, Anne, Christian, Reyes, Cruz, etc. And it somehow limits the attention a person gets when somebody Googles his or her name. And I even have a relative whose name is Josh Samarista! UA na lang ako na.

    The good thing is, we OrCom majors know the way to make ourselves on top of the page. Not to mention that we also know how to bury those irrelevant pages.

    Cheers to Google and YOU!

    • WOW! That’s a brilliant insight, Josh! Yes, the fact that Filipinos have common names can be misleading. I’m going to google who that Josh Samarista is. HAHA! Now, you have a record to beat. Make it to the top post!

      Good luck! I know OrCom has equipped us well with skills to help us make it to the top 🙂

      • Well, i really don’t know why another Josh Samarista is more active online than me. I think because maybe he’s still a kid. Haha. But yeah, I think I gotta do something to make my pages appear on top. That goes to the list of the things I should do before I graduate. Hahaha!

        Cheers. 🙂

    • Hi Allen! It’s nice to know that you already have a good online reputation even before you got conscious of it. It took me a class discussion to realize the consequences of not giving importance to my online brand.

      But I’m happy that after Googling my name lately, positive ones were already on top of the search results 🙂 Thank you for your compliment! 🙂

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