[03.23.09] 6 Rules for Social Media Use = Personal Branding Made Simple [Featured]

6 Rules for Social Media Use


FACT: Social media has the ability to make the single greatest impact on your career identity.

If you aren’t leveraging tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and most importantly, Twitter, you could find yourself at a disadvantage very soon.

Now, if you are rolling your eyes and saying to yourself, “Is she kidding? I’m already addicted to my Crackberry. I don’t have time to spend hours each day with this stuff,” then you are in luck. Because this presentation teaches you the 6 rules to using social media to create a strong career identity.

Here’s just a couple of things you’ll learn:

Rule #2 – Take it Slow

Are you guilty of using cheezy pick up lines when you network online? You could be and may not even know it!

Rule #5 – Choose Your Brand (HINT: Specialize)

You can’t be all things online. So, it’s important to identify how you will stand out from the crowd. Do you know how to make sure people know what you do best?

In just 10 minutes/day (c’mon now, it takes you longer to shower, dress and brush your teeth), you can develop a personal brand online that will make your career identity standout.

Recently, I spoke to the Catapult Seacoast Young Professionals group and taped the session. In it, you’ll learn the 6 rules and why they are critical for success. Moreover, I outline how ANYONE can create a personal brand online that will get them noticed. Better still, I prove why you need to understand the #1 career truth: brand or be branded.

Watch below…

NOTE: I had a terrible time trying to get this thing converted/loaded. It was filmed in HiDef but you’d never know it! We are looking for a way to put 30 minute self-help courses like this one on line without looking so blurry. So, if you know tools/resources that can help – please let us know!


[This article was originally posted in March 2009]

Photo credit: Shutterstock

J.T. O'Donnell

Job Search & Career Expert. Syndicated Speaker & Author. Wife. Mother. CEO of CAREEREALISM Media. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.


  1. Please send me the video links to your Linkedin Best practices tutorial (I seem to recall it was split up into four parts).

    I recall that it was EXCELLENT and I would like to share these with our job seekers, and give you credit.

    Many thanks!

    Jonathan Levey
    Employment Specialist

  2. JT, the more I hear you speak about the importance of social networking within the job sphere, the more it makes sense and clicks together. My question for you is since personal branding is very important through social networking websites such as, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs… What should you do if you have a couple of different industries that you are potentially trying to break into? For example, entertainment and hospitality management or the food industry and corporate marketing? Should you focus one one? or do a combination of both?

    • Hi Kiran,

      The key to branding yourself when you are interested in several industries is to focus you brand on the problems you solve, regardless of the industry you are in. When you can show your go-to potential in terms of the things you do that save and/or make a company money, it often applies to all industries! So, forget tailoring to the industry, focus on defining the business problems you solve and the pain you alleviate. That will get everyone's attention!

  3. JT, the more I hear you speak about the importance of social networking within the job sphere, the more it makes sense and clicks together. My question for you is since personal branding is very importnat through social networking websites such as, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs… What should you so if you have a couple of different industries that you are potentially trying to break into? For example, entertainment and hospitality management? Should you focus one one? or do a combination of both?

  4. JT, Great presentation. Since personal branding is so important and hot right now, do you have a follow-up presentation which focus exclusively on this subject matter, especially on how to formulate a memorable career ID statement and story?

  5. This is a neat presentation. Would it be possible to post a copy of the PowerPoint presentation? I could hear the message but the slide were small. Thanks for the great information!

  6. Good point specializing and differentiation are the key. Tell your story, and explain why you are different, not the best, and you will be on your way.

  7. Hi. I can't hear the audio. I'm an audio engineer and I can fix this if you'd like. I'm trying to watch this on a macbook pro.

  8. Social networking as a career strategy is brilliant when done right. Thank you for this insightful presentation on the proper way to leverage this technology. I have forwarded this to all our our graduate students at our top-30 Business School, here in New York state. Thank you for every minute. It is powerful.

  9. Really enjoyed the above piece. I'm interested in your thoughts on appropriate privacy settings for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles with regards to building a personal brand.

  10. Although I am fairly new to Twitter and Linked In, I can already see the importance of these new tools

    First, I started looking for people to follow that were related to my field of interest, Psychology. Then, slowly but surely I began to see people following me that were in the psych field, so I guess I am not alone after all.

    However, even though I know that these new tools will be important somehow in the long run, I am still a bit skeptical as to how effective they will be at landing me a job or steering me in the right direction. Maybe I just need more practice.

  11. It seems that so many of these “personal branding” tools are more for connecting with people who have already bought into it. Yes, they can help you get in touch with people much more readily nowadays.

    At the same time, there are plenty of people and business opportunities that do not occur online. Not everybody wants nor needs to have a Web presence that spans the LinkedIn / MySpace / Facebook / Twitter plus Web site combo. Pounding the pavement may seem obsolete to some, yet in a world that's starving for high touch, you can indeed connect in person, especially with some people who still have something worth adding to both your personal and business lives. (Whether or not they want to then plunge online is optional; it doesn't mean they're worthless as many articles about these tool imply.)

    • @Question Elf,

      I don't disagree that high-touch is a productive option. Face-to-face wins every time – for those that do it well. However, there is a large population out there that actually networks better online. Not everyone has the confidence, personality, or mindset to do the 'pounding the pavement' approach. Those who can, should do it right now, but for many others, the new social media networking platform breaks down barriers and lets them develop meaningful relationships.

      Additionally, the social media platform allows reach. I can't visit in-person all the people who could impact my professional success (plane fare is too expensive). But now, thanks to online networking, I have a powerful group of colleagues…that I've never met in person.

      Would you agree?

      Thanks for stopping by and posting, I really hope we see you here more often!


  12. What do you suggest we put in our elevator speech?

    Two or Three sentence seems very limited for trying to sell myself.

    • Ahh – and there is your personal branding challenge Josh. Similar to how 'tweeting' on Twitter teaches us how to get our message across in a few words, we also need to develop our Career Story in a few, simple, yet memorable sentences.

      I suggest writing out what you want to say and the repeatedly editing it until you boil it down. What one word can convey what you wrote in one sentence?

      Reach out to trusted colleagues and share what you've come up with too. Getting other's perspective can help with the process.

      By the time you are done, you'll have internalized the message, making it even easier to promote.

      And of course, feel free to post your's here – I bet the fellow readers of CAREEREALISM will help you!

  13. I've been working on my own for a while, and it has certainly made an impact. When I went to a recent job interview, the lady had printed out some of the articles that I've been writing. It was a great topic for discussion. I am hoping to get a job that allows me to demonstrate the importance of these social media tools to the company. Many are missing out on the importance!

    As for the video… I usually check the Komando.com site for computer/tech questions. She has an amazing amount of free knowledge gathered over there. Would this help? http://www.komando.com/downloads/category.aspx?…

  14. I had the honor of attending this event and witnessed JT speaking live to the group. Although the sound quality was a little better in person (must have been the camera man's fault), everything that she says is true. Personal branding is so important; especially with today's economy. You have to learn how to set yourself apart from competitors.
    This video offers some of the best career identity advice you can get, and its only about a half hour long. Using these simple branding tools (Facebook, Linked-In, and Twitter) you can brand yourself and get a step up on the competition. Best part is…it's FREE!

    • Thanks David!

      I'm checking it out now. The big challenge is splitting a 1.3 G file into smaller ones. I seem to be completely incapable of doing this with the software tools I've found online. But Vimeo looks great! I appreciate you taking the time to mention it!

    • Thanks so much – we are trying to serve up insightful info. Feel free to shoot us any questions and/or ideas for content you may have at info@careerealism.com.

      I hope to have the video fixed this week. But I promise, if you take the time to watch the class, you'll learn some interesting things about personal branding. :)

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