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Matt Rhodes: Job hunting using social media

We are proud to welcome Matt Rhodes as a guest blogger on the subject of social media and personal branding for your career. Here he introduces his most recent podcast for Guardian Online.

Matt Rhodes is the Director of Client Services at FreshNetworks. One of the founding members of FreshNetworks, Matt oversees the production, management and analysis of branded online communities for companies such as BSkyB, BT and Liverpool Victoria. He has a background in market research, customer experience and strategy consulting, specialising in digital innovation and product and proposition development.

Matt runs both professional and personal blogs and is a prolific author of social media best-practice articles for a range of publications. He is a regular speaker at Web 2.0 and research conferences across Europe, and he is often called upon to give expert commentary about social media on Sky News, BBC radio and in various national newspapers.

The importance of owning your personal brand in social media

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments with social media is that it allows anybody, from a large global consumer brand to an individual to build their personal brand online. To some extent some of the same rules apply – decide what you want to do and why you are using social media and then make sure you are using it in a way that helps you to achieve this. For individuals, of course, the most important thing is acknowledge in the first place that by using social media you are building your own brand, whether you intend it or not. The main advice is that only you can be in charge of your brand online and in social media, and so you should take control of it.

This is important – especially for job-hunters. I recorded a podcast for Guardian Careers last week talking about the importance of owning your personal brand and building your network online in social media. We also discuss:

■ what a social media agency is and what it does
■ why it’s best if a brand manages its own presence online (but why it usually needs expert help to do this)
■ how you can network and build your connections online
■ the best use of LinkedIn (and how this is different from Facebook)
■ why you need to be aware that people are able to find information out about you even if you haven’t told them
■ that you should take control of your own brand and use privacy settings sensibly to help you do this
Oh and you’ll also find out how I got from a degree in French and Russian at Cambridge to be where I am today.

You can listen to the podcast on the Guardian website: Careers Talk: Job hunting using social media

FreshNetworks is a social media agency which helps organisations connect with their customers through social media and online communities.
Our services include social media strategy, online community design and build, and online reputation management.