Hi everyone! Kelly Roberts here -- aka Intern Kelly -- I am a recent graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and am currently looking for my first "real" job. Through my internship at Hue & Tone I am learning tips and tricks for becoming a more competitive job applicant. Over the next few weeks I'll be updating you on my progress through the blog, so feel free to follow along!
1. Reflect on who you are and what you have to offer.
This calls for self-reflection time. This can be very challenging, because there can be many different things that make you, you. It is important to establish the things that you enjoy, and are good at. Not just professionally, but personally as well. What are your best skills? Honesty is key, stay true to yourself – and when in doubt, ask those around you what stands out to them.
2. Build a personal website.
Build a site filled with blog entries, a record of your professional endeavors, and work samples. I cannot express the importance of this enough! Especially in the creative industry, it is important to have a portfolio of your work – and an Internet portfolio is the way to go. This gives potential employers the opportunity to get a feel for who you are before bringing you in for a face-to-face interview. It is one thing to tell potential employers about your successful work, but it is another to actually show them.
3. Clean up your social media accounts.
Make sure you’re projecting a professional persona online. By changing your privacy settings on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook you can control who can view your posts, pictures, and thoughts. You want to make sure that the way you are presenting yourself on social media is a good reflection of you as a professional. Most importantly, don’t forget to keep your experience up to date on your LinkedIn.
4. Understand the expectations of your industry.
Each professional industry has its own rules, which your personal brand should follow. Do plenty of research to find out who the major players in your industry are, how much color you should use on your resume, and what kind of salary you should expect. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a favorite professor as you explore your field – they’re there to help. As you build your brand, broadcast a physical appearance that balances your personal style and the expectations associated with the industry or career you plan to pursue.
5. Use social media to market your new online brand.
Once you have established your brand, you own the right to flaunt it! Use social media to your advantage – post Facebook statuses and tweets letting your followers know that you are in the job market. Brag about your specialties and abilities, and pay the extra money to update your LinkedIn profile!
6. Network in-person.
Technology is awesome for making and keeping connections; however, it does not replace face-to-face time. Facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language are just a few of the things that make a huge difference in a conversation. Relationships typically grow stronger when you interact with someone in-person, it’s often easier to relate to them and it shows you're invested in getting to know them as well.
Stay tuned for next week's blog post on how to make your resume stand out from the crowd. Have a question in the meantime? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.