developing & selling your personal brand
gone are the days when a wish, a prayer, & a bachelor’s degree could get your proverbial (or even literal!) foot in the door. thought you were the only one with several bad-ass internships, a 3.75 GPA and a “true passion” for your field? think again, sweetie. there’s tons of folks with all of those things out there. and they probably have more impressive resumes than you. turns out – lightbulb moment! – it’s all about marketing. marketing what, you ask? well, duh…marketing you! it may seem daunting at first, but there’s never been more (easy!) opportunities to show off your personality and your faaaabulous qualifications than there are right now.
i know, i know. a lot of people complain that they don’t “get” twitter. but really, there’s not that much to get. it’s an amazing way to connect with people you admire in your field/who work at companies you want to work for (http://twellow.com is a great place to search) as well as alumni from your college that might be able to give you a hand or put in a good word. the key? be conversational, personable, and show interest and engagement in your desired industry. don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through, though – someone with whom you casually chat with about the latest episode of “LOST” may just turn out to be a journalism/digital media/publicity/whatever guru. the point is, you just never know.
SET UP A WEBSITE.
during my job hunt, the best $9.99 i spent was on a domain name. as i was searching for a copywriting job, i wanted a place that i could easily direct potential employers to in order to view my spec portfolio of writing samples. i found a free hosting site because i’m cheap, but included the URL to my site, http://www.kimwindyka.com, in my cover letters and resumes. voila: instant access to my work and no hassle for the employer.
GIVE ‘EM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT.
can you imagine how many candidates are up for the same job you are? welp, there are probably a lot. and they’re probably all answering interview questions with some variation of the same ol’, same ‘ol. in my estimation, unless you start babbling incoherently or say something completely CRAY-ZAY, an answer that’s out-of-the-box or even a little bit eccentric is almost always going to be refreshing to the employer. example: i was the first candidate to be interviewed for a position. i was asked “now, it may not be on your resume, but what’s been your biggest accomplishment thus far?” when the interviewer said, “not on your resume,” the wheels started turning, and something urged me to mention the fact that i searched for and found both of my birthparents last year with very little information and no outside help (i’m adopted). i ended up as the top candidate for the job, and i’m convinced this was a big reason why – it made me memorable. so, go make yourself memorable!