Selfies and personal brand. What’s the connection?
Selfie: it was Oxford Dictionaries “Word of the Year” in 2013; the music video for the song #SELFIE has more than 87 million views on YouTube; and a recent hoax that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) officially classified taking selfies as a mental disorder spread like wildfire on social media. The phenomenon of the selfie has to do with a very basic human desire: to feel noticed, important, and recognized. More than seven billion images are shared on social media sites each month. Every time we capture ourselves with a celebrity, mark a milestone, or show off that fabulous new haircut, we’re contributing to this phenomenon. But how does this affect our personal brand? Well, that depends on how you use selfies (and all forms of social media) to portray yourself. As human beings, we are constantly going through the process of self-exploration, and this is reflected in both our real lives and our online lives. While it’s great that there are so many diverse platforms to express ourselves online, we are also creating many personal branding opportunities. And it takes just one poorly timed tweet or picture to tarnish your personal brand, both online and offline. Job seekers should take special note of how they are portraying themselves online. With more and more employers searching the names of prospective hires online before making an offer, managing your personal brand can be crucial to landing your next job. Make sure your online presence is the best representation of your personal brand by reflecting the ideals and qualities important to you (i.e., you should probably make those photos of you in college downing 40’s private or delete them entirely from your profile). Let’s admit it: we’re all a little narcissistic. From President Obama to the Pope, everyone is getting involved in the selfie craze. And when done properly, selfies can actually enhance your personal brand, as you have complete control over how you are portraying yourself.