Brand yourself this summer

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College is more than just graduating, so being able to get a job or internship during and afterward really matters. We’re at the end of the semester, meaning that no matter if you’re a freshman or a senior, you should be preparing to get a job or an internship sometime soon.

Often, when we think about getting a job, we only think about having a resume ready. Most of the time, this resume looks like a plain white page with a list of achievements, devoid of even a block of color. We’re living in a world where creativity adds value, so here are some ideas to creatively work toward branding yourself over the summer break.

Make yourself a creative business card

According to The Balance, having a business card is still essential today; not only for those who have their degrees but for those who are planning on pursuing one. Having a business card not only gives you the ability to network professionally, but shows people how you are ready for any opportunity that may come your way.

Business cards don’t have to be plain to be professional, but they should look clean with some creative elements like applicable graphics, pops of color and interesting shapes. Employers value creativity and hard work no matter if you’re a graphic designer or a doctor. This is also the perfect moment to create your own personal brand logo that you can include in your portfolio and on your resume for cohesiveness.

Create more than a resume; create your digital portfolio

Often we think that the only way to show our work is to either have a stack of papers and projects or to simply use our resume to show the extent of our work. However, according to The Muse, having a portfolio makes it much easier for the interviewer and the interviewee to show his or her work.

While physical portfolios are always handy, having your digital portfolio ready also gives you the chance to send it to employers, in addition to a resume, which will help them to see what you have done, even before the interview. There are many websites — like WordPress and Wix — that give users the opportunity to customize their own professional website. These websites allow you to organize all you have created and put it on display at an easy-to-find domain. Remember: The more the employer can see, the more professional and able you will look.

What image does social media cast of you?

Our social media platforms are the best way for employers to see what potential employees are involved in, who their friends and so forth. Therefore, you should try to keep it clean. Think of your accounts as an extension of your portfolio. According to the New York Post, sometimes employers won’t hire you despite your accomplishments if you do not appear to be professional in all aspects of your life. Take care to keep unsuitable pictures hidden by archiving them, untagging yourself and prevent them from ever going up on the internet at all. Don’t lose an opportunity for something because of an inappropriate picture.

In a brand, everything is connected

All of your designs should feel connected. Your social media accounts, portfolio, resume and business cards should all have the same color palette and logo; the cleaner the better. Little details like keeping everything connected gives the employer the opportunity to see how detail-oriented you are, which is always be a good sign. Since you’re creating your brand, everything should be cohesive as well. As writer Tom Peters said, “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be the head marketer for the brand called ‘you.’”

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