Students and graduates alike are marketing themselves to their peers 24/7, whether they are aware of it or not. Every person you meet could be a potential client, boss or reference. Are you thinking and acting as if you are a public relations professional? Because you should be!
Think of the people you come in contact with during your daily routine: teachers, clerks, secretaries, classmates, etc. The way you behave and present yourself will leave a lasting image, whether good or bad, in the minds of those people.
Do you rush into class late every day, or are you right on time, or a few minutes early? Do you treat store clerks respectfully, with appreciation, or are you aloof and indifferent? When you study are you the loud, obnoxious person, or are you thoughtful of others’ time and space?
Your presentation of yourself is a “resume” of you for all the world to see. Your demeanor, posture, attitude, dress habits and personality can either work for you or against you. Keep your image “clean” and work on aspects of yourself that would turn you off if you saw them in someone else.
Here are some ideas to help boost the image of your brand:
- People like people who help. Regardless of whether you are into dogs, cats or people, volunteer! There are plenty of opportunities with animal shelters, local libraries and community outreach programs (such as Big Brothers Big Sisters or Community Kitchen with Volunteers of America). Just go to their website and click the “Volunteer” tab for a list of ways you can show you care by giving yourself and your time to others in the community.
- The advantages of studying abroad are also plentiful. Being willing to travel demonstrates flexibility, curiosity, adaptivity and pro-activity; characteristics every employer is eagerly looking for.
Remember, you are always representing yourself. If you keep this on the forefront of your mind, everything else will follow. Your written work,
spoken word, appearance and body language will become more polished when you realize everything you do could have an effect on your future.
So, network even when you’re not at a networking event. Email people back right away – even when you don’t need a favor from them in the near future. Get to class on time and don’t complain about unprofessional professors – complaining is not professional. Remember to be your best in every situation.