Post by Sara Farr
This week Digital Royalty’s very own Nate Ludens gave priceless advice to a group of advertising and PR students at UNLV. It was similar to the speech he gave to my class last year, which helped to translate my dream of working with social media from merely dreams to a reality. As a college student, and soon to be graduate, hearing from an industry professional is very valuable way to see a different perspective from some of the things you have learned in class and from textbooks.
As graduation season is upon us, it is important to work on (be aware of) your personal brand before diving into the sea of job applications. From Nate’s presentation, here are 7 important tips to help graduates establish a strong personal brand while preparing to join the work force.
1. Never burn a bridge.
No matter what happens, how you feel at the time, try to be cool because you never know where that person is going to end up. Keep in touch, too, because at the end of the day, your reputation is a huge part of your personal brand.
2. Google Yourself. Future employers probably will.
Be aware of everything that you currently use and it’s appearance to the public: Facebook, any blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. People may Google you before you even get the chance to hand them your resume. Your online reputation is often your first impression, so make sure it’s a good one.
3. Create a blog or use Tumblr to show / reflect a portfolio of your work.
The content and layout are completely flexible and controlled by you – not Facebook, for example. It can be a great tool for showing future employers examples of work that you have completed – and linking to it, if it’s still online.
4. Learn to grab a screen shot.
Get this app: JING by Techsmith.com. It’s free, and it’s great, takes screenshots to the next level. Screenshot your work just in case it gets edited or un-published down the line.
5. Make your resume a PDF.
A PDF is consistent and able to be read on anything. Just say NO to Word, Pages, and Publisher resumes.
6. Follow the company you’re interested in on social networks.
“What’s easier than that?” Nate says. “It shows you’re paying attention, in even the smallest way.” You may get valuable insights into the company’s culture, or just a great conversation starter for those awkward silences in job interviews or waiting rooms.
7. Hustle. Show that you’re hungry.
Come early, and stay late. It makes the difference because it illustrates your work ethic. Employers want to hire people who can think on the fly and solve problems. If you’re late or leave early, you can miss out on opportunities.
[edit: Digital Royalty University's Personal Branding course is currently half-priced - only $20 for an hour of detailed case studies and direction for anyone building their online reputation.]