When I walked into my marketing class, one of the eight electives that students can take at The Philadelphia Center, the professor presented each of us with a semester long project to work on for the class.
It included creating a brand for myself, a message that I want others to understand about me, and is definitely one of the more difficult assignments that I have received.
As he introduced this project to us, he brought to our attention how much people rely on the Internet these days. Of course, we understand that people use the Internet for all sorts of reasons — e-mail, Facebook, Skype, finding directions, making reservations, paying bills, etc., — but he also emphasized how much potential employers use the Internet.
When you apply for a job, most likely, the prospective employer will look you up on the Internet. If the organization you interview with finds information that portrays a negative image of you, you are in a bad position.
However, what also puts you in a bad position is if an organization looks for you on the Internet and cannot find anything. This was my professor’s main point: as we will all look for jobs one day, we need to start getting our names out there and make sure that it portrays the information we want it to.
Even though it may sound easy, I have quickly learned that it is a lot harder than it sounds. As part of the process, my class has completed different assignments that help us realize our strengths and skills, and we have been able to determine our success factors, i.e., our individual accomplishments, which set us apart from each other and other individuals applying for the same job.
With this information, we have each been able to create a personal statement about ourselves, which we then narrowed down to a seven-word slogan, and finally, down to our own one word that best describes ourselves. This one word is what you want people to remember you by.
In order to make this information available to others, we have to create a personal web page we can direct people to when they search for us on the Internet, along with a business card that we can hand out to people as we network.
With these tools, we are able to portray a consistent message about ourselves. In the end, this is going to set us apart from others.
It comes down to three questions: who are you now, who do you want to be, and what do you want people to know you for? These three questions help you create your brand.
As I have tossed around different words for the past two months, rewrote my personal statement on multiple occasions and dedicated the majority of my time this week to developing my website, I realize that this is definitely not an easy assignment and it takes a lot of thought and consideration.
However, as everything is coming together, I realize that this assignment will be a valuable tool for me, not only now, but also long down the road.
Want to learn more? Come to Philadelphia to take the class!