Till a few years ago, fresh college graduates had no internships or professional achievements to their name. There was a thin line between completing academics and starting a full-time job. But times are fast changing. Today, students are more conscious about getting an early start in their choice of field.
Whether it is a small internship or a part-time stint at an NGO – they are working hard towards building their personal brand. Yes – it is a long process and requires patience but presenting yourself to the world as a “person of calibre” is an achievement in itself!
Before we go any further, let’s try to decode the definition of personal branding:
It is the practice of marketing oneself and his or her career as a brand through a strategic online presence. Creating a personal brand from a young age and gradually improving upon is one of the wisest investments that millennials can make.
There are many ways through which you can take the leap of faith and get started. Here are four of them:
1. Build a personal website
Thanks to websites such as WordPress, Weebly and Wix, it is now possible for a novice to set up a website in just minutes. With a website, you can set yourself apart and convince recruiters to hire you if you come across as a professional who means “serious business”.
Almost everyone may have a LinkedIn profile or presence in various job portals. But what really stands out is a website with a decent URL that displays your qualifications, achievements, hobbies and other personal updates.
Trust us: this is the first step towards building a flourishing personal brand. Employers and hiring managers really appreciate those who put in an extra effort to be noticed for real. Given that 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 minutes on a website, you should ensure you go for a modern layout that instantaneously speaks about you.
Don’t let the recruiters scoop for information about you. Lead them, if you must.
2. Your LinkedIn profile is paramount
A survey by Jobvite states that 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn but only 36% of job seekers pay attention to it. This means that there’s a noticeable demand and supply gap and you should take full advantage of it.
So create a profile – if you don’t have one already – and fill your work history. Don’t forget to add a link of your website in the profile. Once this is done, connect with the right kind of employers, recruiters and fellow professionals to raise the bar of your LinkedIn profile and reach the “Superstar” status.
Put a professional photo. Refrain from using words such as “guru” or “storyteller” in your headline. Keyword-optimize it. Try to ask for recommendations from each of your job. Follow relevant companies and join relevant groups.
3. work for a startup, if possible
This is the best way to learn how to juggle a thousand job profiles, stretch yourself to meet deadlines and learn company ethics! This is the age of startups and so, why must you be left behind? Now that you have started creating quite a buzz on LinkedIn, it is time to apply for jobs.
Send direct messages to the recruiter or hiring manager of the company you want to get into. Show some credibility and sincerity in your approach by writing a nice cover letter and yes – don’t forget to add a link to your website.
Don’t go for entry-level jobs at major companies. Instead, work for a startup where the pay is decent and responsibilities are enormous. Thrust yourself in a position where you can do maximum things at the same time!
In addition to this, take up a few freelance projects. This is not just to earn some extra cash but also to come across as an attractive potential employee to recruiters at major brands. Whatever you do, publish it on LinkedIn and your website. Let the world know!
4. Build a brand that is life-long
For millennials, job-hopping is a common trend. You are going to join and leave many companies but that doesn’t mean there’s a fault in you. According to CNN.com, you will probably change jobs at least four times by the age of 30.
Naturally, this is not enough to build credibility in the industry – which is why you have to be publicize your achievements in a smart manner. Your website and LinkedIn profile do offer you one way of doing so. That is why you should make the most of it.
So the tip of the week is: don’t stop at one thing. This is the age to experiment and thankfully, millennials have access to so many digital products that it is fairly easy to build an online presence that stands the test of the time.
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