Common Name? There’s a Social Fix For That!

Popular Name Social Media ToriRTerhune Tori Randolph TerhuneChances 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!

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Facebook Graph Search and your Job Search

facebook graph search job search tori randolph terhuneIf you’re anything like me, the word graph makes you cringe. Your brain recalls the tedious process of graphing points on an axis, drawing a straight line and finding the slope. Some graphs are your friend though, and Facebook’s new Graph Search, soon to be used by all hiring managers,  is definitely one of those.

What is Graph Search?

Graph Search has started rolling out to users, and the graph data comes from Facebook users’ profile information. Using key search terms, recruiters can now dial in for graphic designers, in a certain city, who like coffee, the San Francisco Giants and have read three specific books…WOW! This makes Facebook much more useful in the job search, but also makes it important for jobseekers to make their pages the best representation of their personal brand. The information that you have in your about section, pages you’ve liked and any TV shows, movies, books, etc., you have listed are all game for Graph Search.

Here are three tips to help you promote your personal brand and hirability on Facebook.

1. Use a Vanity URL

Choose your name as your vanity URL. For instance, your URL should be facebook.com/firstnamelastname. Or, if you use your middle name or initial (like me), include that in your URL. This makes it easier for hiring recruiters to find you, which keeps them happy. Facebook only lets you change this once, so pick a good one!

2. Complete Your Profile

It is important that you fill out your about section with keywords relevant to your industry and personal brand. For example, you can list every title that describes you such as blogger, journalist or dance instructor. Don’t use cutesy quotes to describe yourself; think of your about section as a branch of your resume, and include any important descriptions of yourself there. You should also fill out all jobs, schools and relationships with those in your network on your profile.

3. Utilize Likes

Like companies, non-profit organizations, public figures, books, and anything that is part of your desired industry, or that reflects your personal brand. Graph Search enables hiring recruiters to not only scope out a candidate’s skills but also to determine whether he or she will fit in with the company culture based on personal likes on Facebook.

What do you think? Have you tried any other Graph Search optimization techniques? Comment below!