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3 Ways to Market Yourself in a Professional Way

By Becina Ganther - Upper Arlington High School

Companies have been marketing products for years. And we, the consumers, tend to like stuff that looks high-quality, is advertised well, and generally gives off a positive impression. 

The same concepts apply to finding the internship, college, or job that you may want in the future. Think of yourself as a type of cereal and employers as consumers looking to buy breakfast. There are hundreds of brands of cereal at the grocery store. How will you stand out and convince consumers to take a bite? Read on below!    

LinkedIn is Your Friend

Take the time to make your LinkedIn profile stand out. Think about how much time you spend on Twitter or Tumblr trying to make your posts seem cool or clever (and then playing it off as if all your brilliant thoughts come naturally to you). It’s even more important to impress potential employers than your Twitter followers. Get your NextGenVest Linkedin Certificate in 10 minutes by logging into NextGenVest.com.

Get a custom url so that your page is easier to remember. Try to go for linkedin.com/yourname . Choose a professional photo for your profile pic. If you’re not sure which picture to choose, look at the profiles of other people who are in your career field and match their look. Avoid using these words on your profile at all costs: responsible, creative, effective, analytical, strategic, patient, expert, organizational, driven, and innovative. They're overused and unoriginal. Yawn!

Tell a Story With Your Resume

So you’ve found your dream internship and you need to send in a resume. What now? Well, the resume process actually begins long before you start applying for jobs. You should keep a master list of jobs/past experiences that you’ve done. You can start that list today and add to it as you do more stuff. When compiling your list, be specific about your achievements--this is not the time to be vague or humble. Get your NextGenVest Resume Certificate in 8 minutes by logging into NextGenVest.com!

If you’re applying for your first job and have no previous work experience, here’s what your master list needs to include: Your education, honors or awards received, and AP classes you’ve taken leadership experiences, unpaid work, or volunteering as those show your ability to juggle many responsibilities skills section (computer skills, language skills, leadership, etc) hobbies and interests.

Now, pick specific things from the master list that pertain to the job you’re looking for. Your resume shouldn’t include everything you’ve done.

Imagine what your resume would look like to someone who hasn’t lived your life. What does it say about you? Is that the message you want to send?

Become a Networking Master

Networking is a great way to advance yourself in your career. Plus, you get to meet new people! If this is your first time networking, start with people you know. Take your old Facebook profile out of the attic, dust it off, and go through your Friend List. Do you know anyone who is in the same career field as you? Someone who is in the career field you want to go into? If you’re in college, do you know someone in the same major? Reach out to those people.

Set aside time to nurture these connections and any new ones you make. Make plans for dinner, ask them to grab coffee with you, any way you can spend more time talking to your connections. Okay, so you’ve asked someone to dinner. Now what? Well, there are three “golden questions” that you should ask during any networking encounter: How can I help you?, Do you have any ideas for me? and Who else do you know that I should talk to? If you are a student, most people will actually want to help you if you keep them feeling invested and involved with your success. 

With these tips, you’ll be sure to snag your dream job. Go forth, young cereal. Be the best breakfast you can be!