Marketing is a huge part of modern life. It dictates what we buy, where we go and how we behave. When done well, it can change our minds and spark our imaginations. So, why should it be any different when it comes to ourselves? Creating a brand for employers to buy into might be the thing that sets you apart from the stack of CVs in the same position. To help you with this, here are five tips to market yourself the right way:
These days, it’s almost impossible not to leave some kind of online footprint. Most of us use social media accounts, we shop online, book our holidays on our laptops and listen to music on our phones. Harnessing this for your own career progression is a smart move.
First thing’s first, make sure you’re aware of how you’re coming across, especially on social media. If you have a personal account that you want to post to without fear of looking unprofessional, perhaps make it private so future employers can’t access it. You can have a second, public profile that portrays you in a positive light and could even be an asset to you if they find it when researching you.
Consider creating a personal website dedicated to your passions or previous work; this will show an understanding of both your chosen field and also of the larger, digital world. You don’t have to be a coding expert to build one, either. Sites like Wix and Squarespace are designed for those with little to no web design experience. Finally, use your bio to tell any potential employers exactly who you are.
Although the waitressing job you did when you were sixteen or your studies at university may not seem like practical experience in career terms, it’s what you make of it that counts. Being a server takes attention to detail, social skills, teamwork and patience. Did you ever have to write the rotas? Organisation.
The same goes for your studies. Essay writing, research, analysis, teamwork, leadership skills, time management and strategy are all transferable skills that may come in useful in a variety of careers. Shout about these on your CV and your LinkedIn profile, and take full advantage of university while you’re there. It’s a unique opportunity to participate and coordinate activities in a safe space.
Building a portfolio is an excellent use of your time – after all, marketing is nothing without content. Whatever you’re studying, start compiling your very best work and documenting your extracurricular activities. An employer may want to hire you based on your interview but may also need something more concrete to back up that choice.
Presentation is everything, so make sure the formatting is accessible, the layout is clean, and the content is correct. There’s nothing worse than a glaring spelling error in the middle of a beautifully put together portfolio. Get a friend or even your tutor to read it through before you send it to who you want to impress.
Networking always sounds intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be. Think of it as the part of your marketing campaign where you get your product out there. LinkedIn helps you make connections with people you might never meet in real life and who can be invaluable in your job search. Post or write articles about your professional interests and you’ll be amazed at the people willing to engage with you.
Then there’s the old-fashioned way: meeting people in real life. Attending relevant events, some of which may be hosted by your university, and meeting people face to face can make all the difference. A little shy? Take a friend with you from your course and introduce yourselves as a pair to take some of the pressure off. You can even ask your lecturers or tutors if they would be willing to introduce you to any of their contacts in industry.
Last but not least, no one likes to see the same aggressive advert over and over on their feeds. You should project confidence and not be afraid to put yourself out there, but stop at pushiness. Knowing when to hold back is sometimes just as important as knowing when to speak out.
Think you could be the next big thing in marketing? Why not take a look at our MSc Digital Marketing programme to help you take the next step.