If I received a paycheck every time someone welcomed me to the real-world after I graduated university, I would have been able to skip past that world and go straight to retirement. I was told this countless times and to be perfectly honest, it bothered me. How much harder could working full-time be than school? Well I promise you that although hearing this statement from someone already in the workforce may seem ridiculous, over-used and completely unhelpful, the reality is that to the recent college or university graduate this welcoming represents a series of important questions, for instance; are you ready? Do you know what to expect? Are you prepared for everything and anything?
This welcoming is the transformation of you, the student, to you, the prospect. A brand competing against other brands, taking everything you’ve ever learned and applying it to a service that you offer and charge for. This pivotal time is when you need to work the hardest and make the most out of your resources. That’s why when it comes to finding new opportunities and seeking added value over others, marketing yourself online has the potential to be one of the most effective communication tools that you use when looking to start your career.
How you can leverage your career through self-promotion and online branding.
Now by all means I am not suggesting you cover the world wide web from corner to corner and success will be in your near future. If you’re unable to do a face-to-face interview your career will be over before it even starts. But marketing yourself online is extremely advantageous, and it will help you get that interview. For example, look at how effective and popular social networking sites have become in the last few years. They present instant global communication and connection which in turn create far more opportunities than the Classifieds’ ever could.
Facebook and Twitter have become popular with social groups around the world and present a benefit to the newly graduated job-seeker. Facebook is an excellent way of taking word of mouth marketing and blowing it up a million times. Suggest in your profile what profession you’re interested in, update your status when you’re actively looking, and always keep an ear open for that friend of a friend’s boss who could be hiring soon.
Twitter has become epic among celebrities, organizations, businesses, and people. If you’re interested in a cause or specific company- follow them, communicate with them, and know who they are so when the opportunity arises for an interview, you’re already an expert on their brand.
LinkedIn is a social media site that is specifically geared towards building professional relationships. Although Facebook and Twitter have the potential to create positive relationships, they could also present negative ones as well. When the line between social life and professional life cross networking sites like these make sure everyone knows about it. LinkedIn is all about getting down to business and connecting people to new opportunities, but its downside is that it does have substantially less regular users than the first two.* Either way, there are pros and cons to any of these devices so it’s up to you use them effectively and to your advantage.
Another way to continue leveraging your brand online would be to launch your own personal website. Start sending your website around to potential employers instead of your resumes and cover-letter, and make sure you include a personalized email address that you can be reached at. Coolguy49 may be a very respectable candidate, but that person’s skills are masked behind this anonymous and childish web name.
Having your own website and personal email domain does two very important things for your brand. The first is that it gives the people on the other end more to consider when looking at you as a potential hire. You’ve not just stated your qualifications and broken them down in a timeline, but instead created an online network about your brand and communicated it in various ways.
The other benefit to having your own website is that it allows you to have full control over your brand. It looks professional, mature, and it shows that you’re prepared and went that little extra distance. Not only have you created a brand for yourself, you took the time to build it and develop it 360 degrees.
The framework has been laid, you know what you need and what outlets are available to you, now all you need to do is create the content. Ideally you’re going to want to go to a one stop shop; a web-hosting company that can provide you with a website and domain name, the tools needed to develop the site, a personal email account, as well any other features that can make the student to prospect transition as smooth as possible.
At myhosting.com and our sister company mail2web.com, we create products and services that help you get your brand online with as little stress as possible. For the online newbie trying to develop their brand, we have the resources to put you in the right direction.
Our web and email hosting services allow for you to have your own website and email address. It’s an opportunity to be clear and concise about you the brand. Don’t be shy; get your name out there. We provide a wide range of hosting plans as well incorporate numerous online applications that can also help you make your site look the way you want. Even though it’s important just to get the www.you.com done, you must remember that your website is your brand, and people will be interacting with it, so make sure it looks and works the way you want.
Utilizing some of our other services like email exchange and email retrieval keep you up-to-date with everything that’s coming your way professionally. Once you’re ready to start getting your work out there, companies will get a hold of you and want to meet. Our Exchange service provides you with everything from calendars to appointment notifications, all things you will need to stay connected once you start getting busy.
Busy means on the road, and if you’re on the road you’re going to need to stay connected to what’s happening within the confines of your inbox. That’s why our mail2web.com services can also help you check your email from any computer or smartphone that’s internet ready. It’s fast and reliable, making you… well fast and reliable. We provide these services because we are passionate about growing brands online, creating a community with our clients, and helping them out, every step of the way.
In the end you are your brand. You are the website and the email address. You are the blog and the tweet. You are the mobile application and the busy schedule. You are the 2am e-mail blast. You are late. You are early. You’re working from home or on the go. You are that fourth latte you drank while trying to think of a really clever mission statement. You’re that person sitting on the other end of that table being asked “what can you bring to our company?” And hopefully it all leads to you being the one shaking someone’s hand; receiving a warm welcome into the real world.
*results based on www.compete.com’s top 25 online social networks