In order to land your dream job and develop a career, you must always continue to brand yourself. You have to do sometimes do everything to network and market your worth, and even if you haven’t had an Ivy-League schooling, or been to school at all, for that matter, there are always ways to sell yourself academically in your career if you have something to offer. Whether you’re in pursuit of that dream internship, or jobs, or if you’re looking to restart a new career and are still in college, here are nine ways to apply yourself in order for the best version of you to come out so you can land a career in the field you aspire to be in.
1. Create a LinkedIn profile
This is a no-brainer but I still find many recent college graduates without a profile on Linkedin. Take a professional picture (in a blazer, against a white background, preferably) and be as detailed as possible when filling out your work experience. If you’re looking to land a career in politics but are bartending for a while, it’s best not to put “bartender” on your resume. Put your dream title in your Linkedin profile. For instance, if you want to be recognized as a journalist, but don’t have experience, still put ‘freelance journalist’ if you’re applying yourself to that career.
2. Create a professional email
Do not put “mikeyankees95”or “zacsgirl33” on whatever email server you use. It’s time to get rid of your 12-year-old handle and simply put your first and last name at Google.com. I prefer you use Google simply because many corporations are starting to use Google Drive or Docs excessively.
3. Brand yourself on social media
Start smart tweeting. We need to stop subtweeting or tweeting about the guy who eyes met yours on the subway. Save those funny tweets for when you’ve established a career. Tweet like your boss follows you. Retweet interesting news or videos. Tweet professional advice. In your bio, write your career title. Make a professional cover photo or choose a professional photo in regards to the career you’re in or wanting to go into.
Ex: Mike Jones
USC Alum, Business Partner at Jones & Co., Avid coffee drinker.
It’s important to add something like “coffee drinker,” “never met a dog I don’t like” so people can see your personality or learn something about you more than your work title. Don’t be shy to put whatever professional thing you’re doing, even if you’re just an intern and are comfortable with writing where you work.
4. Make a website
(And once you have made a website put the link in your twitter bio as well.)
Whatever career you’re into, 9/10 times, you would benefit from a website with a professional headshot, resume, and past experiences. Use Wix or WordPress, and buy your own full-name domain. Make sure it’s not SallyJones.Wix.Com but instead just SallyJones.com.
Write blog content or share articles pertaining to the interest in your field.
If you’re a mass communications major, making a website for yourself with a reel, and videos, is a must!
5. Create a business card
You can give out simple, appealing, business cards with contact and website info.
6. Create a brand story
Hire a marketing firm to work on creating a brand story. You have a story. Write and sell it. Even if you’re the most boring person in the world, a marketing firm will find something about you to sell. Why would people benefit from hiring you, why are you so special, what makes you different? This is not be confused with a cover letter. A brand story is usually short and to the point, and published on a card, accompanied by your professional pictures (this would also do well as a page on your website).
Before writing your brand story consider these three questions:
-What are my biggest strengths and skills?
-What am I passionate about pertaining to the career I’m in ?
-What makes me unique and special?
7. Your resume
If you have five or six bullets (even less) under each work experience on your resume, it needs help. Go to the career-service department at your college or hire someone to write your resume and make it more professional.
8. Manage, join and increase your social media and online presence
Create an About.Me page (your brand story would do well here), and join as many social networks as possible with your full name and only your full name as a username. It’s highly frowned upon to see “JannnneeeSmithhh” as your username. Get rid of all those letters!
Make yourself a Pinterest; pin interesting, appropriate things.
9. Reach out to local news organizations or magazines, to sell your service, products or story
If you feel you like you have a good brand story and a lot to offer, reach out to magazines or local papers to see if they’ll do a profile on you. This will help at all levels and can contribute to every aspect of your career and online presence.