“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” – Ben Heyman’s Online Persona

Meet Ben Heyman, a student at Boston University who knows the influence social media can have on your online persona, as well as your job search. Hear what he has to say:

Why is having an online presence important to you?

In today’s competitive landscape, you need more than just a resume to stand out. While applying to jobs is still very much a thing, it has changed. Recruiters look for you. They look for your online presence to get a better feel for who you are and what you stand for. I maintain an online presence to help recruiters get a better sense of who I am, to establish my credibility and to network with people who have similar interests as myself.

Ben's Website

Ben’s Website

What types of things have you done to showcase yourself online?

I blog and promote those pieces on various social media channels, maintain an up-to-date portfolio, constantly share articles I find interesting and relevant, and participate in Twitter chats. I am constantly finding stories on LinkedIn and Google+ and adding my comments where I can.

How has your online presence helped you network?

Twitter chats have been amazing. I have had so many people reach out to me who are willing to help me connect and find a job. I landed an interview with a company recently because I participated in their Twitter chat. It is also a good opportunity to share my blog, connect with people on LinkedIn, etc. I cannot say enough about how my online presence has helped me network. Keeping a consistent voice and message through all of my social media channels has definitely helped me create a strong personal brand.

Ben's Vizify

Ben’s Vizify Profile

How is your online presence helping you in your job search?

I have grown my Twitter following tremendously. I have had many people reach out to me after taking notice willing to assist me in the job search however they can. The networking opportunities that have arisen because of my online presence are numerous. I feel as if the time I spend maintaining my online presence will pay off in the long run.

Ben HeymanBen Heyman @heyheyman

Originally from Bethesda, Maryland, Ben Heyman is a senior at Boston University, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations in May 2013. He is passionate about technology, social and new media and public relations. He is fascinated by the idea of using technology and social media to enhance our lives. Ben is actively looking for full time employment to begin his professional career. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter!

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FAQ: I’m not a blogger, how can I showcase my experience online?

Students often ask me how they can showcase themselves or their experience online without blogging. This is a great question, especially for those who aren’t writers, or perhaps don’t have the time and resources to sustain a blog. There are several great online tools out there that can help you represent yourself online without blogging, or even as a compliment to your blog if you have one. Here are a few of the more creative and unique ways to represent yourself outside of your traditional social media channels:

Vizify

I stumbled across this awesome site after conversing with @adelynlee on Twitter. She has a great profile set up to compliment her online presence.

Vizify

About.me

This free and easy to use site allows you to create a short summary of yourself and provide links to your other social media profiles.

About.me

Zerply

Similar to the above site, Zerply creates a page that features information about you. “Zerply is a simple professional network focusing on your experience and talent while presenting you in the best possible way.”

Zerply

ViewYou

“We create stunning video introductions and profiles for motivated job seekers looking to standout in today’s crowded job market.” If you’re looking for a truly untapped and unique way to profile yourself, ViewYou is it!

ViewYou

Pathbrite

Pathbrite is a brilliant site that creates an online and visual portfolio of whatever content you choose to include.

Pathbrite

Whether you use one of the above or one of the many other platforms created to help you showcase yourself online, you’re sure to make an impression, even if you don’t have a blog.

Do you use another platform to showcase yourself? Tell me about it in the comments!

FAQ: Should I let employers see my social media channels?

This week’s FAQ seems an appropriate follow up question to my earlier post about what you should and shouldn’t do while representing yourself online. Should you let employers see your social media channels? You might think it’s none of their business, that you’ll share some but not others, or just don’t know. Here are some things to consider in order to help you answer the question:

Social media is a good way to showcase yourself.

Using your social media channels to create an online persona that potential and current employers can interact with is important in this day and age. As I’ve mentioned before, if you’re looking to work anywhere near social media or online marketing, you BETTER have an online presence that displays your experience in a positive way!

Social Media Love

If you have nothing to hide, why not?

There is a lot of controversy out there about whether or not your potential employer should have the “right” to see your social media profiles in, before, or after an interview. However, as I read the stories I can’t help but wonder, if you have nothing to hide, why wouldn’t you let an employer see you on social media? Now, I do know that there are exceptions to the rule, but really, I WANT my boss to see that I’m rocking it on Twitter, or that my Pinterest account is driving traffic to my blog. Facebook is admittedly a little trickier; however, think about this: do you want to work for an employer that would judge you for having a great time at dinner with your friends Friday night?

Not doing so could cost you the job.

Again, I realize that this may not hold true for every field out there, but in general, if you keep all your social media channels private you might not get the job. Think about it…if the other candidates are tweeting about information related to the industry, have an awesome Pathbrite portfolio, or even public Facebook posts sharing articles that would interest a recruiter/employer, and you don’t, do you think you’ll get the job?

I’ll let you be the judge. Ultimately, it is your decision whether to share or not, but hopefully this gets you thinking about why it’s probably a really good idea.

What’s your opinion? Tell me in the comments!