This post was written by Alexa Stone, our Campus Ambassador at the University of Central Florida.
Nowadays when you are applying for an internship, you are often competing with hundreds of other applicants who are just as qualified as you. It seems like everyone has made the Dean’s List, has held various internships, and has participated in great extra curricular activities, but is that enough? Though all of these are great points to list on your resume, if you want to stand out in today’s day and age you need to do even more! Creating your personal brand through your online presence could give you the extra edge over the pool of applicants trying to get the same internship. How to you do this? Here are my tips on how to brand yourself in order to stand out:
1. Be active on twitter!
I would recommend using twitter since it has become such a strong tool for staying connected, and it can even help you find internships. If you are going to list your twitter handle on your resume, make sure you are actually using it. Having a twitter with 15 tweets won’t be beneficial. Also along those lines, if you provide the employer with your twitter handle, then your twitter should not be set on private. An employer doesn’t care that you have a twitter, but they care about how you present yourself over the Internet. They will not be able to learn anything new and exciting about you if they can’t read your tweets.
2. Link all of your social media sites!
I would start by creating the same username for all of your accounts. That way there is no question whether it is you or not. For example, my name in the virtual world is “apstonee.” My twitter, pinterest, instagram, linkedin, facebook, about.me, email, etc. all use “apstonee” which makes me extremely easy to find. All of your social media sites should also be linked. For example, my link in my twitter bio is my about.me profile, which then links you to every other social media account I have. If they aren’t listed, they likely won’t be seen. If you would not like one of your social media sites to be seen by employers, then you should consider using a different username than your other accounts.
3. Post about relevant things!
If you would like to be in the marketing field, write about it in your twitter bio, tweet about relevant articles, and follow marketing professionals. The same goes for any other industry. Employers can easily differentiate who is passionate about pursuing a career and who is not.
4. Start a blog!
This is one thing I have struggled with a lot since having a blog can be time consuming and takes a lot of commitment. However, having a blog shows dedication and hard work. Use it to show your expertise and to post about things you are passionate about. This can be especially useful if blogging about the industry you would like to pursue a career in. If you are a fashion junkie and post everyday about your outfits and style, you would definitely have a leg up when applying for an internship in the fashion industry.
5. Act appropriately!
This is plain and simple. No drinking pictures, no cursing, etc. This will never work in your favor and will create an extremely negative personal brand. If you have them, take them down! These things can always come back to haunt you. If you do have inappropriate things on your social media sites and for some reason refuse to get rid of it, then make sure you have extremely great privacy settings.
If used appropriately, social media can be the key factor to help you create your personal brand and really stand out from the rest of your peers!