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How to use your college athletics experience to build your personal brand online

It’s no secret: Employers commonly turn to social media for an inside scoop on job applicants. What you post on your accounts has the power to influence your chances for landing that job, but that doesn’t mean you should rush to make all your feeds private. If used wisely, social media can play to your benefit, helping you build a personal brand outside of your sport that will make employers take notice.

Adam Juratovac

For guidance, we turned to Adam Juratovac, a former football player at Idaho who coaches current and former student-athletes on building their online brands. Juratovac encourages young adults to diversify the types of content they share and the platforms they share it on, maintaining a steady presence on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. And as a former student-athlete, there are plenty of aspects of your college experience that you can leverage in your social media mix.

Athletics: Support your alma mater and former teammates by posting throwback photos of your student-athlete experiences, such as team travel or the big game. If you are meeting up with former teammates, post about the time you are spending together. “Athletics is an easy topic of conversation in any job interview, networking event, or meeting with others within your field,” Juratovac says. “Sports is a great unifier.”

Interests outside of sports: Though athletics may have taken up a majority of your time in college, it shouldn’t be the lone focus of your social media feeds. Juratovac encourages former student-athletes to showcase themselves as the well-rounded individuals they are. Post about your interests and hobbies outside of sports, whether that be your favorite television show, a drawing or a new recipe you tried. Your interests are what distinguishes you from the rest of your friend group, Juratovac says.

Community service: Community involvement shows you care about bettering the town or city that you live in. In posting photos of moments where you’re giving back in your free time, you are illustrating your selflessness to future employers. “When people start scrolling through your social media feed, and they see community service, they’re going to start connecting the dots and say, ‘If I hire this person, they’re not only going to just focus on their job and do it the best they can, but they’re also going to work on improving the environment around them,’” Juratovac says.

Academics: Even though your days in the classroom may be over, you can still show current student-athletes the importance of education by reflecting on your classroom experiences. If you struggled academically, post about how you overcame that obstacle so you could graduate. Tell your followers about your academic successes and the goals that were set to pass a class or exam.

About the Expert:

Adam S. Juratovac is an attorney at Juratovac Law, a law firm in the Silicon Valley. Before his career in law, he founded AthletesLTD, a platform that provides life skills programming for student-athletes. Juratovac is the author of “Student-Athletes and Social Media: Materials, Notes, and Guidelines” and speaks nationally on social media. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in business-accounting, a master’s in accountancy and a Juris Doctor degree.