5 ways to ensure your online professional identity stands out

The old CV and cover letter combo won't quite cut it any more

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot)

As part of our Passion Pioneers campaign with GoDaddy, here's how to make sure your professional identity is standing out and saying the right things about you...

A strong online professional identity is a business essential. And whether you're looking to hook in potential investors or build your profile as an entrepreneur, it's always worth doing some personal branding or should we say, rebranding.

We all have an online identity, but it might not necessarily be saying what you want it to about your work. Don't sweat it, with a few small tweaks you can make your online identity a professional one, and reap the rewards in the process. From losing the old msn email to creating a website, we're here to help you send the right and professional online signals.

Our Passion Pioneers campaign with GoDaddy aims to inspire and empower people to pursue their passion projects and turn their career dreams into an entrepreneurial reality.

Over on our new Passion Pioneers channel, you will find expert advice and inspiration for every step of your career journey, equipping you with everything you need to know to turn your idea into a business.

But first, here's how to ensure your online professional identity is standing out and saying the right things about you.

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1. Switch to a professional email address

Lose the teenage email address and opt for something more professional. While hunny_bunny@hotmail.co.uk might still make you and your pals laugh, it won't send the right impression to potential investors so change it up for something more business-like. To make your identity as clear as possible, we would advise sticking to your name and/or your brand.

2. Create your own domain name and website

Having a website with your name in the title will direct recruiters to the information you want them to learn about you, giving you a digital identity, and giving the brand you create more credibility. If you need help setting up your website, GoDaddy offers domain names, website building and easy to use marketing tools, not to mention 24/7 support.

3. Update your personal LinkedIn profile

Once you are Googled (and you will be), your LinkedIn profile will likely be one of the top searches, so make sure it's up to date. If it still says you're a first-year student at Manchester University, you might not hook in the investors and customers that you're after. A regular LinkedIn update is key, and be sure to include an up-to-date age, business, summary and preferably a professional headshot.

4. Have a social media audit

Social media is probably the biggest hurdle in ensuring a good professional online identity, especially given that most of us grew up with the internet and have documented our inner thoughts and photographs across a myriad of platforms since the early noughties. Having a social media audit is therefore crucial for ensuring that your platforms are saying the right thing about you.

5. Make connections and build your network

Whether you're on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter or your website, make sure you're making connections and building your network. Follow and reach out to entrepreneurs doing similar things or anyone in the industry you're breaking into. While it may seem inconsequential, a mutual (and relevant) follower can often be the key to forming new partnerships and achieving entrepreneurial success.

Keep up to date with our Passion Pioneers campaign @MarieClaireUK.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.