One of the first things you will learn in college is how to market yourself. The ability to market yourself is essential to getting internships and jobs. Employers want to know why you would be the best fit for their company and what makes you stand out from others. Self-marketing may seem like bragging, but it isn’t. You have to highlight your accomplishments and skills in order to put your best foot forward to get an interview, internship, or job.
Defining your Personal Brand
Defining your personal brand is a key element to self-marketing. A personal brand is how you choose to express yourself and how others perceive you. You represent your own brand and you have to strategically convey your brand in a way that grabs people’s attention.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when creating a personal brand is to be authentic. Your content should reflect your goals and interests. Don’t hide aspects of yourself because you are afraid of what others might think. No one wants to work with someone who is not genuine and transparent in their interactions. Be bold and be yourself and your passion will shine through.
When creating and distributing content that is advertising you, make sure it effectively conveys the message you are trying to get across. When it comes to marketing yourself, there are many things you can do in order to effectively convey your message. First, think about the things that you are most proud of including skills, accomplishments, hobbies, and anything that showcases “you” to your target audience.
When you have thought about these things, then you are ready to create content on different platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter .
There are so many things you can create to showcase your brand. Your portfolio should include everything you have developed from your classwork, campus organizations and internships. Making a website to showcase your portfolio is the perfect way to display and organize your content. You can design your website to reflect your personal brand.
Creating an Elevator Speech
You need to be prepared to give your elevator speech anywhere! This speech is a well thought out personal branding message. An elevator speech conveys who you are and how you stand out from others.
To create an effective elevator speech that is quick and concise, it is important to think about three main components. These three components are the core of your pitch so they should be the three things that you are most proud of or you feel best represent you. This will help create an organized structure for your pitch. Your talking points will flow better if you can visualize an organized structure.
Think about things you have accomplished in your college career and through life experiences that differentiate you from others who may be interviewing for the same job.
Companies/Agencies love to see numbers and deliverables. Completed projects in which you have produced an outcome with numbers or percentages is a great point to highlight.
Imagine you are on an elevator going to a job interview and suddenly it stops. The door opens and the CEO of the company/agency walks in and joins you in the elevator. The CEO turns to you and asks, “What makes you qualified for the position you are about to interview for?”
First, make eye contact and confidently introduce yourself. Next, give a good strong handshake! Finally, start to introduce your main points.
Now that you have defined your personal brand and created an elevator speech it is time to put them to use to effectively communicate your brand when networking. Networking can be intimidating but now that you have organized your talking points, it becomes easier.
Authenticity is the most important thing when networking. It is far more effective to be yourself and bring lots of energy to the conversation than to try to be someone you aren’t. Employers want to hire someone who will bring a positive attitude and has lots of passion for their work.
Your passion and enthusiasm will shine through when you are talking about the things you are involved with at school, classes you love and other interests or hobbies that define who you are and make you stand out.
The company/agency you are looking to intern or obtain employment has to be the right fit for you. You may really want to work there, but if it doesn’t align with your values or career objectives then it might not be the best fit for you. There are so many opportunities out there so it is not the end of the world if one door closes because another will always open!
Casey George is a junior studying strategic communication a member of the 2019-2020 Bateman Team. Follow her on Twitter @case_g10!