Social media presence and outreach is an important skill in the application and hiring process, said Marissa Pick ’07 in a webinar about “personal branding” that took place on Wednesday as a part of Hiatt Career Center’s ongoing “Marketing Week.” 

This hour-long online event invited Pick, now the global director of B2B Social Media at the CFA Institute in New York, to present the webinar, which was hosted by Alexandra Stephens, associate director of Alumni Career Programs at Hiatt.

The term ‘personal branding’ developed in the so-called “age of individual,” said Pick, who used Venn diagrams and memes to demonstrate why and how a person’s own brand needs the support from their own perspective as well as others’. Pick gave five focus areas to demonstrate altruism and genuineness in personal branding: purpose, authenticity, value proposition, self-promotion and value-adding. At the same time, Pick emphasized active interactions with others, which she sees as a key to actively understanding oneself. 

“What makes you outstanding, what makes you achieve, what are your passions, this and that, all things related to your personal brand should be consistent all across these incorporated factors and values of yours,” Pick said.

Pick detailed how to shape one’s personal brand on three major social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media is “powerful [tool] to amplify your message, whatever that message is and whatever those audiences may be,” she asserted. 

In a poll, Pick asked the audience for their preferred career-based social media and noted the significance of LinkedIn. Comparing this result to a subsequent poll where she asked about personal use of these media, Pick said, “I am surprised … by how many of you guys on this webinar aren’t using any of those social media — I hope after this you can incorporate this into your social branding.”

Pick noted how employers utilize social media and explained that social media helps identify candidates who fit into selective niches. “When you go in,” she said, “you can search different profiles of Twitter users; you can find really, really, really, segmented people to start conversations with.”

 In a list of “do’s” and “don’ts,” Pick warned that one’s digital reputation “stays for life”: “you know, it’s good, it’s bad, it is what it is — treat it as if it’s permanent.” 

“Be mindful about what you put up on social [media], because you will eventually become who you are on social media,” Pick emphasized. “You can only fake for so long, and you will become a pain on social media if you are too in real life.” She added, “Step back, think about what you are posting and think about how it will affect your personal brand [in the] long-term.”

Pick added, “Social media has little to do with what we say but everything to do with what people say about ourselves.” On this note, Pick stressed the importance of headshots as “very crucial, the second [thing] of influencing somebody with your brand,” especially in directing employer perceptions.

Pick summarized the key to good branding as four factors: time, effort, patience and thick skin. She advised students to look for “others’ interest in yourself” and “your interest in others.”

“Be interesting,” she urged. “Be interested — being engaged in interacting and sharing — and be experimental.”

Pick concluded her webinar with a frank statement: “Engagement is the key to social media, and for me, [it’s the key to] building my personal brand and adding that value.”

—Editor's note: An archive of this webinar is hosted on the University's Events & Webinars website for viewing.