Marketing Yourself: Succeeding in Your Career and in Your Life
Are you in marketing? No matter your answer, the correct response is, “yes.” Every day, in every interaction we have, we are marketing ourselves. Each contact is a potential future boss or client. Think about that. What image do you convey to others?
In person, you should greet people professionally and dress for the job you want, not the job you have. You should also have an “elevator speech” prepared in case the opportunity arises when you are asked what you do. Attitude is everything, so sell yourself on your can-do attitude instead of worrying so much about your level of education and experience.
Most people have an online presence. Do you have a profile on LinkedIn? If not, get one. Make sure that it is 100% complete then join and participate in industry groups. If you see that a connection knows someone in an organization where you would like to work, ask that connection to introduce you. Also, ask current and past employers to post recommendations on your profile.
When you post status updates on Facebook or Twitter, are they optimistic, kind, and professional? If not, clean up your online presence including photos. Don’t put your personal business out there for the world to see, especially when it comes to relationships gone wrong. Don’t use profanity, put other people down (including your current employer), or post anything that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see. Be careful about what you post on sensitive topics such as politics or religion. Privacy settings are one way to control what goes out, but remember that everything can be captured and shared no matter your settings.
According to online reputation management company Reppler, a staggering 91% of recruiters now search social networking sites before making a job offer to potential new hires. Nearly 70% of recruiters have either decided to hire or reject a candidate based on their impressions from social networking sites. The top three reasons for hiring based on social networking impressions were attitude, professionalism, and creativity. The top reasons for rejecting were lying, inappropriate comments or photos, negative or discriminatory comments, and poor communication skills.
Put your best image forward in everything you do whether it is online or in person. You never know when your next great opportunity will happen as a result of the impression you make on your connections.
Here are some additional tips on marketing yourself:
- Google yourself to see what contacts might find online.
- Actively participate in groups like Access Tallahassee.
- Attend conferences and trade shows.
- Volunteer your time to gain experience.
- Print business cards with contact information, even if not currently employed.
- Create an online portfolio.
- Write a blog.
- Participate in mock interviews.
- Write a customized professional resumé and cover letter for every job you seek.
- Introduce yourself to someone you admire in the industry in which you would like to work. Invite that person to lunch or coffee to gain more ideas.
Gabrielle K. Gabrielli, Ph.D.
CEO, Gabrielle Consulting, Inc.
Author, Consultant, Educator, and Speaker