Today, I attended a session as part of the future leaders programme that was based on personal branding. The session was led by Jacqui Malpass who is a marketing consultant and a private executive coach who has worked with senior personnel in the public and private sectors.
The session was designed to look at how to most effectively present yourself to prospective employers, specifically for graduate level roles. This session turned out to be a lot more helpful than I thought it would be.
Of the various aspects that we discussed on how to present yourself as an employable package, online presence was one of the key topics. This included various things such as what is on social media sites as well as blogs and professional profiles.
Jacqui pointed out that for many employers, when they google your name, seeing that you have an active blog (especially if the content relates to your professional interest) and have good links shows that you are self motivated and professional. Furthermore, you can link your pages together so that an employer can find out more about you, but with you steering them to what you want them to see. I have set up a LinkedIn site but have not as yet put anything on it, therefore, I will take some time to set up a proper profile and then put the link on one of the static pages of my wordpress site. This would be a good way for me to be able to show my creative efforts on my website but still keep a slant on myself as a professional.
Furthermore, I have since considered the role of the blog and think I will keep it but be limited with it’s use. I will use it to keep a record of exhibitions I visit and what I have observed/ gained in other areas. This will then mean that I can continue this for years to come and a potential school employer can get a feel for where my interests and knowledge lie within the field not just from my degree, but also from my own pursuits generally in life.
I now feel a lot clearer in where I am going with my website and what type of brand I want to give myself with it. I will complete the branding excercise she set us as this will then give me a definite path of exactly how my website should be percieved and what I want to be percieved as, as a result of this.
Thanks to Jacqui Malpass for her words of advice and Andy Thompson and Fiona Reid for organising the session.