Marketing Yourself in the Digital Marketplace
Tips for Building Your Personal Brand Online
By Lauren Mun
Student, Rutgers University
Professional opportunities are hard to come by during a regular summer, but even more so now. Just because the job market has slowed down, doesn’t mean the professional growth opportunities have as well. It has simply adapted, and you can too.
Although there aren’t as many positions, formal internships and jobs to apply for, I have still managed to both grow and sharpen my professional resume throughout this period of heavy remote working.
You want to make yourself marketable. What comes up when you Google yourself? Think about all the online spaces you take up, from your LinkedIn to your social media pages. If your pages are public, make sure they highlight the professionalism you’d want your future boss or co-workers to see.
Make Your Social Media Bio Your Business Card
A great example of social media professionalism: make your bio your business card. If you want to be taken seriously on social media, what you post and how you post it must reflect that. Make your Instagram a business profile and attach your email. Don’t be afraid to put your profession in there. If you’re a writer, tell me! If you do PR, tell me! Be proud of your career, and users will be more inclined to scroll through your highlights, follow you or click the link in your bio and check out your work.
Create Your Own Website
The best way to display your work is with your own website. The University of Adelaide has a great article highlighting the benefits of creating this kind of portfolio. As someone pursuing a career in digital media, I know that aesthetics are everything. While you want your resume to highlight all of your professional accomplishments and accolades, you also want to showcase your personality when you can. The personalization aspect gives you the opportunity to spotlight design experience, even if you use a website builder’s template. The colors, graphics and overall aesthetic call attention to your eye for detail and creativity.
Showcase Your Passion Pojects
What is your passion project? Quarantine has brought plenty of time for hobbies and learning new skills. Whether you write short stories, have taken up knitting, started designing stickers or have mastered gluten-free recipes, you can use your hobby or passion to propel you professionally.
This is the beauty of a website; it can be anything you want, even more than just your working experience. This is where your personality really comes through! Create a tab for your passion project and show off what you’ve been working on. This could be a blog, a collection of photos you’ve taken or even a list of your favorite recipes or workout tips. It doesn’t have to turn into a side hustle or something you make a business out of, but it gives a great sense of who you are. Plus, it can lead to opportunities you never would’ve had otherwise.
For example, one of my passion projects is creating videos. I make them for fun and post them on my YouTube and Instagram. Because of this, I’ve been reached out to about professional video-editing opportunities. Not to mention that they’re fun to add to applications and my resume. Hobbies are valuable skills, and you should use them to your advantage!
Even if you’re not currently applying to jobs, it’s incredibly important to always be marketing yourself. The space you take up online is a reflection of you: your accomplishments, experience, and personality.