How to sell yourself

By: Nikki Mikolon

Students, no matter what level, have a goal to graduate at some point in time. Some graduate and go into their careers. Others graduate and go back to school, again and again… and again. No matter what direction life takes us it is important to remain true to ourselves.

As a student and employee one must remember the best thing we have to offer is ourselves and the package we have crafted and created over the years. Whether graduating and going into the workforce or moving on to graduate school, we need to prove to someone out there that we have what they are looking for.

In public relations we understand how to craft a message and make something appealing to the public or a specific audience. The mission here is to craft a message selling ourselves to the targeted audience. Whether that be a future employer or graduate school admissions board, we have a product and we are on the market. Individuals work hard to craft their message of who they are and how they want to project themselves to the world.

Barbra Jones, senior corporate relations manager from Eastern Michigan University’s University Advising center, said this to EMU’s PRSSA: “ Be yourself. A company is buying a product, you are that product.”

Jones talked about what it meant to sell yourself properly. The example given was when you go to the store, you see a product that you like, read about it and test it out. You decide to purchase it. When you get home, you soon find that product is not what it seemed. It worked differently in the store. The same applies when we are being introduced to people, especially employers. Employers have no background of you. All they know is what they see during a first impression and what they have read about you. The first impression is what sells you to others. So be yourself. If you are not, employers are only basing their decision off this one impression. Someone is going to be let down in this situation.

That was the first tip. Here are some other tips to selling yourself:

Put yourself out there.

On social media and in the real world be yourself and show the world who you are. Be careful and selective on social sites, but don’t be afraid to show the whole package.

Consider your brand.

In public relations we understand brands and tone of voice for various companies and organizations. Each company has a different way they present themselves to the world. Think about how you want to be perceived and depict that to the public by still being true to you.

Don’t be afraid to show off.

As humans we all have our unique abilities and characteristics that make up who we are. Be proud of where you’ve been, where you are and where you are going.

Consider all of these points when presenting yourself to the world, future employers or future schools. Sometimes the most important advice is what we think we already know, and we do. We just need a small reminder every now and then.

 Nikki Mikolon is a junior majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing and communications. This is her first semester on EMU’s PRSSA E-board serving as the Vice President of Professional Development. As a Detroit native she hopes to spend her beginning years in the work place working for the city and being a part of its renaissance. Connect with Nikki on Twitter @nikkimikolon.

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