Today, the topic is how to brand yourself as a student. Something been giving quite a lot of thought both before, and even more so, after I read a blog from a Norwegian called Thomas Moen.
First of all, a bit of creds and commercial;
Thomas might be one of the few people here in Norway with the competence to call himself a Social Media-guru, even though I can´t stand that label. Social media is in constant change, and therefore I do not believe that a select few has all the answers.
I´ve been following Moen´s blog and twitter account ever since he appeared at the Career-fair at my College and gave a great speech on how he has started out from his tiny room as a teenager, creating the iPublish tool, and now, working for Creo, one of the leading PR-agencies in Norway.
Some weeks ago, he wrote on his blog, (only available in Norwegian) about how students should build their own brand in order to get the job of their dreams. Something I totally agree on, and try to live by.
Even before I read this entry.
– One of the things I have learned after a year at the Oslo School of Management, is that you can´t expect every opportunity to fall into your lap, and to get ahead on your way up the «corporate ladder» your face must be known.
For me, I was certain, already before I started, that I wanted to get involved in what might be known as «extra credit assignments». The thing is, you don´t get any extra points on your diploma, but the recommendations you might acquire are worth a lot more!
I´ve been involved in creating the career fair at school, I am a volunteer board member at the Oslo Marketing Association and I´ve been trying to show my face at tourism and travel-expo´s, as much as possible. And finally, through my work at HSMAI Europe, I have understood the effect of branding and networking.
First I would like to share Thomas´ 8 tips to successful branding:
1. Buy your own online-domain (ie. thomasmoen.com)
2. Create your own personal blog
3. Create a twitter account and use your name consistently. (ie. @hansstenseng)
4. Follow those who interest you, and tweet something that inspire and involve.
5. Use the same picture of yourself on all professional sites, and make sure your face is easy to see.
6. Use Twitter every day. Retweet and ask questions to those you follow and to those you might want to get in contact with. And make sure you look out for anyone mentioning your name, work or topic of interest.
7. Don´t focus on the amount of people following your blog for at least 6 months. Just share articles and other relevant information to the industry you wish to get into.
8. Don´t be to serious. Let your personality show. Nobody will ever hire a robot, show yourself as a human being.
(Source: Thomas Moen)
My comments to this:
1. I am using WordPress, and one of the choices I have, is that I can get my domain through them, so in time, www.hansstenseng.com might launch.
2. Creating a blog? Yes, yes and YES! Not for everybody else, but for you.. It really helps to write stuff down. And as you might see if you check out some of my other posts, I try to balance how personal it gets. You will not see a «what I am wearing today»-post from me. But I am not afraid of posting other thoughts that might pop into my head, or if a day was so great, twitter just is not enough!
3. Twitter is FUN! Share articles, post random quotes from your professors and get in touch with some of the industry pro´s who use twitter as a networking-tool.
4. Follow as few as possible, and use lists. If you follow too many, your feed will just be a total mess… Not good!
5. TRY to use the same picture, I have 2 different that I try to use on a «professional» basis, unfortunately my face is not very easy to see in any of them, but I hope
6. I´m not the best at this, but I try.. So yeah, at least sign in to twitter each day. Just to see what is going on.
7. Please don´t focus on the amount of people following your blog or Twitter-account. Like Thomas said, try to focus on creating good articles.
8. Again, be human, and for crying out loud: HAVE FUN!
Now, I would like to add a few other tips:
1. Use Linkedin, create your own resumé there and network without having to worry about those pictures from last Saturday´s binge getting in the way of people thinking you can act like a professional.
2. Add your resumé at your own site/blog.
3. Created a blog, and would like readers? Use Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin to spread it. You never know, someone might find it interesting.
4. Remember the real world!
– This might be the most important tip you will ever get from me:
Go outside! Social media is great, but remember the old school: Opportunities for networking. Join associations, for tourism, travel, hotel & restaurant-students I would of course recommend HSMAI
All you others? Talk to your professors, see if they have any recommendations!
5. Create business cards.
– Some might say the business card is dead. I beg to differ! After attending several events throughout Europe the last year, I must say. The business card lives on! STRONG! And it´s always a bit embarrassing not to have one you can give in return when offered from the person in front of you.
6. Have fun! I have said it numerous times now.. But remember, show your personality, be yourself and have fun! Networking IS FUN! Both on and offline.
Hope you enjoyed this (long) read.
All the best