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We all know that making a good first impression is a huge part of networking in the professional world. The online space is no exception, and thankfully there are a myriad of tools out there to help you show potential clients and/or employers that you mean business.
There’s LinkedIn for your work experience, Twitter and Facebook for your social presence, Flickr for your photos, Tumblr for your opinions… and don’t forget about YouTube and Google+! Each one of these platforms offers its own unique merits, but for many people, there’s only so much social media a person is willing to peruse on his or her own time. After all, you wouldn’t hand someone you meet at a conference a heavy binder full of your past work.
A firm handshake and smart business card is all many people need to make that first connection. About.me attempts to bring that simple, yet efficient “business card” feel to online social networking. Here are some simple tips to build out your About.me page.
Before you start shoving links and photos onto your page, take a little time to figure out exactly what you want people to know about you. Do a little soul searching (take a walk if you have to) and outline these three components: story, skills, contact.
The best introductions are brief, yet important in showcasing your personality and what you want people to immediately notice about yourself. There are a couple of different techniques to open your About.me page with. You can opt to be personable (first-person) and introduce yourself as if you were meeting that person face-to-face, or you can choose the third-person. The entails writing about yourself as if you were going on the Price is Right.
Personally, I would go with the first option but there are no right or wrong answers here. The important part is hooking the reader with an engaging introduction. Choose your words carefully and whittle it down until you bring up only the most important details.
If the story is the appetizer, then the skills portion of your page is the main entree.
Strike a balance between what you know you do best and what you think your network will relate to. For example, if you’re competent in Photoshop, fill in the body of your skills section with links to your portfolio using samples from your work. Go above and beyond by using samples that demonstrate your abilities by annotating your them with how you pleased your client or how you mastered a certain technique or style.
Don’t go crazy, but the more context you can give to prospective clients/employers, the better.
The contact section is ultimately the most important step and easiest to implement onto your About.me page. Make the process as simple and as easy as possible for your connections to reach you.
In addition to your email (and possibly phone number), feel free to dump your social media platform links. Be professional, and only include what you would want a potential employer to see. Facebook and Twitter links are always a smart idea, but you should only put those out there if you’re comfortable with your personal life overlapping into your work life.
Now that you’ve got some meat to your About.me page, it’s time to choose your cover photo. Unlike other social media platforms, a feature photo isn’t optional. Your photo is probably the most personal part of the entire process and you can’t really go wrong in anything you choose.
Whether you play it straight with a classy black and white head-shot, show off your goofy side with silly hats and fake mustaches, or do something completely left field, your photo should encapsulate everything you want your connections to know about your personality and what they can relate to you.
That’s all there is to it. Creating an About.me page is the perfect way to streamline your social media presence and make formal connections in a more casual fashion. Play around with the different styles and templates available and see what fits your personality the most.