ELLE (Canada) - - Special -

Yes, the term “per­sonal brand” is a cheesy buzz­word, but its con­cept is le­git. Re­search has linked a strong on­line pres­ence to bet­ter career op­por­tu­ni­ties, and shar­ing pho­tos and ideas on so­cial media can en­cour­age com­mu­nity and de­bate. The down­side? The constant act of per­form­ing your best life can make you feel more in­se­cure than you were on your first day of high school. “Bol­ster­ing our public im­age on so­cial media can en­hance our self-doubt and wor­ries about be­ing im­posters in our own lives,” says Karen North, pro­fes­sor of so­cial media at Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia An­nen­berg School for Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Jour­nal­ism. Here’s how to walk the line. Find a posts-per-day sweet spot. In­sta­gram fit­ness star Anna Vic­to­ria rec­om­mends three to six. Any more feels spammy; any less and you may be lost in the In­sta con­tent vor­tex. Ac­cept that you are not a Kar­dashian. Your to-do list should not in­clude tak­ing 1,500 selfies a day. But one a day could make you hap­pier, con­cludes a re­cent study from the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Irvine. Re­searchers found that stu­dents who struck a smil­ing pose once a day and shared it with friends grew more “con­fi­dent and com­fort­able” with their pho­tos. Keep it real. We don’t want to see a photo of you clean­ing Fluffy’s lit­ter box, but if a post feels au­then­tic, you’ll prob­a­bly be hap­pier and your fol­low­ers will re­spond. Bet­ter yet, get Fluffy his own In­sta han­dle à la Boo the Pomera­nian and em­brace your in­ner stage mom. Re­mem­ber: What you post will live forever. Even if you trash-canned that video of you do­ing your best Jour­ney im­pres­sion at your bach­e­lorette karaoke, many sites sim­ply ar­chive deleted pho­tos or save them on a server. Re­cruiters are watch­ing: Ac­cord­ing to a 2015 Workopo­lis sur­vey, 63 per­cent of Cana­dian em­ploy­ers scour the so­cial-media pro­files of po­ten­tial can­di­dates.

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