The Virtual Professional

Still a few years away from the “real” work world in my mind, my online presence needed some work. When using most social media, I hadn’t given a single thought to the fact that future employers would google me. On sites like LinkedIn where the point was to create a professional online presence, my profile was scarce. It was clear that I didn’t really understand how to use social media to further my goals.

Fast forward to summer 2015 where I am working a summer internship at Made by Many as a product manager. I’ve been emailing with Leslie Bradshaw about the internship for a few weeks now, but on the first day the team and I finally get to meet her. After some exciting introductory stuff about our internship, Leslie leads us in a professional development workshop. Inspired by her perfectly constructed professional self, I embark on a journey to make over my virtual self. This past week, I’ve taken three steps of my journey.

Separating my private and public social media.

When Leslie said she felt like Facebook was her personal space and she rarely added coworkers or clients on Facebook, I was surprised. I add everyone I’ve ever met on Facebook. She then mentioned how she used Twitter more openly. I used that openly to. In fact, I didn’t really deny anyone on any social media. I quickly realized I needed to draw a line. I cleaned out my Facebook, made a new professional Twitter and made my old one private, and took my personal Tumblr link off all my accounts.

Identifying my goals and relevant strengths.

Through some of Leslie’s assigned activities I realized I hadn’t actually thought deeply about what I want to do as a product manager and what I can bring to the table. After some deeper reflection, I figured out that I want to help people actualize their visions and that my nearly obsessive organizational, planning, and critical skills help me do that.

Redoing my LinkedIn

My LinkedIn had none of my most current job positions, had no summary, outdated skills, barely any connections, and my tagline was simply my current position at Made My Many. Now I have my most recent positions listed and have connected to all the professionals I met at those positions and at school. I wrote a tagline that highlight my strengths and goals and a summary that elaborates on them. I also chose to add more relevant skills that I have/am working to develop this summer.

Along with cleaning up what others see of me, what I’ve done so far jumpstarted my professional thinking. I still have work to do, but these were some of the quick steps I took in the right direction.

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