Chances are you’ve heard the mantra: There will never be another you. It’s true that everyone has their own unique personality, but the same cannot be said for names. Unless you’ve got a crazy name, or are just plain lucky, there may be several folks that share your name. In fact, there are 2.7 million people with the last name Smith!
Unfortunately, this can cause confusion for hiring managers when they Google you after reading your stellar resume. Someone with the same name as you may have posted photos on Instagram of him or herself drinking in Las Vegas over the weekend. A mistaken identity in this instance could damage your personal brand. Here are five things you can do in your social media plan if you have a popular name to help you protect your personal brand.
1. Embrace a nickname. Shorten your legal name or come up with something unique from a middle name or fun school-aged nickname. You aren’t changing your name, and you can ask to be called something else in the office, but it will make it much easier for people to find you on social networks.
2. Use your middle initial. Don’t want to part with your first name? No problem! Keep your first and last name and just insert your middle initial. I’ve used this with my new married name, and ToriRTerhune is my handle and username on all networks.
3. Tag your industry to your name. If your career is in PR or you have a CPA, wear your industry and title proud. For example, ToriPR or ToriTerhune_CPA. Your name will not only be distinguished, but it will make it easy to see what you do and recruiters will see how passionate you are about your industry.
4. Underscore it. Use your first name, then the underscore symbol followed by your last name. Example: Tori_Terhune.
5. Add numbers. You can tag on your college or high school graduation date, or perhaps a lucky number to your username. I’ve seen people run with this and use the address where they grew up, and then really build into part of their brand using the numbers graphically in their online resumes and profiles.
6. Add THE. Many people recommend putting THE in front of your name to distinguish yourself; however, with a very popular name, this could be done already!
What do you think? Do you have other tips on what to do with your social media if you have a popular name? Comment below!