Your digital appearance is often the first impression someone has of you. Make it count.

Can enhancing your digital persona improve your power as an employee or the influence of your company as a whole? Yes, argue today’s top consultants and digital strategists. While some people are quick to dismiss social outlets like Twitter and LinkedIn, your presence on such networks can give you the edge when it comes to your reputation – both online and off. In fact, your online profiles are often the first impression someone has of you. In today’s digital world, online branding “differentiates you from the noise,” says Huffington Post columnist Joanne Tombrakos. She explains:

Smart companies get it. They understand that online profiles are for much more than simply looking for your next job. Smart companies understand those profiles are a reflection of their staff and an indirect reflection of the company. They see that a work force that understands how to use social networking to their advantage can also serve as brand ambassadors for the company.

While human-to-human interaction still serves as a major catalyst for opportunity, a positive image online can get you the first foot in the door. “If you’re not giving thought to how you show up online, you may never get the chance to strut your stuff in person,” says Tombrakos.

Read all six common misconceptions about personal branding online at Huffington Post.