In today’s competitive market, clinical staffing agency recruiters, HR and hiring managers are taking to the internet more often to vet potential candidates, both independent contractors and employees. Creating a cohesive personal brand across all of your online platforms can be an invaluable step in advancing your career. If you are like most clinical research professionals, you are already on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, but are you aware of the message you are presenting to potential employers?

Here are a few do’s and don’ts for creating your ideal personal brand.

Do: 

Cultivate a Clear Message. The first thing you need to do is dig deep to discover what message you want to present to your professional peers. What are your strengths? What are you passionate about? What makes you unique in the industry? Where do you want to position yourself in your career? Ask yourself these questions to hone in on the message you want to push through.

Don’t:

Create a Facade. While answering these questions, pay close attention to your authenticity. Remember the point of branding yourself online is to network, which will hopefully lead to meeting people in person and landing your next opportunity. If your online brand does not match who you are in person, it will set off a red flag. Be confident in your personality, skills, and abilities, and use your online brand as a way to showcase who you are.

Do:

Choose Your Platforms Wisely. You don’t have to use every social media platform to create a brand and be seen. Choose your favorite platforms and focus on putting your best foot forward. In the clinical research industry, the top platforms for networking are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. LinkedIn’s professional format is the most effective platform to feature your skills and experience and get noticed by potential employers while Facebook and Twitter can give an insight into your passions, interests and unique qualities. Choose what works best for you and update regularly with fresh content.

Don’t:

Clutter Your Pages. Whatever platforms you choose, make sure you do not overshare. With more personal platforms like Facebook it is easy to get drawn in to sharing every aspect of your life, but friends, family, colleagues or potential employers may not care about that level of detail. Make sure your posts are also appropriate for all audiences. Political posts or what you did last Saturday night are best shared off the internet. Neutrality is your friend online. There is an art in creating enough content while cultivating an air of mystery. Make sure people are getting an idea of who you are, but keep them engaged and give them a reason to learn more about you in person.

No matter what stage you are in your career, marketing and branding yourself online in an appropriate manner is essential to moving your career forward. Follow these tips and never worry about your online presence again.