Build your brand… literally.

Alright people, let’s get serious. We’re about to graduate. We’re job hunting. Want some reality about job hunting and your personal brand?

There is ongoing talk, and I’m sure you’ve heard of it, employers look at who you are online as much as they do on paper (resume). So, is it logical to just go and delete all of your online media presence? Most would assume so, but does that help or hurt? My suggestion: find a balance. Protect yourself and be conscientious about who may be reading what you have to put out there for the world to see. Privacy settings you say? Do you really trust them? It’s time to clean up your photos, download them to your computer and say goodbye to Spring Break documentation on the world-wide-web. But it’s not just about cleaning up, it’s about how you are going to decorate, too.

Decorate… are you asking what I could possibly mean? I thought so. Put yourself out there. I know many of you think Twitter is scary, not intuitive, something only those adults or celebs do. Guess what team, we’re adults now. Twitter is a source for much more than the everyday documentation of your ventures, it’s about expressing your thoughts, opinions, views, branding, networking… It’s leverage for yourself. Don’t know how to use Twitter? Well, better start learning. Don’t tell me you can’t, our generation is notorious for learning by doing. More and more businesses are using Twitter daily. It’s free marketing… shouldn’t you “follow” the same philosophy to promote your personal brand (sorry for the awesome pun)? Yep. And as students, I’m sure you appreciate free services.

So friends, tear it down and build it back up. Your personal brand. Be present, but ensure they like what they see. It probably isn’t that impressive to employers if you have no media identity, so stop DELETING your accounts and make sure you are ADDING the right value. Figure out the side of yourself you want to be exposed and own it! I need to do just the same, and I’m working on it.

Check out Under30Ceo for great tips about branding yourself via Social Media.


Brand New Idea

My name is Ashton Phillips. I’m in my last semester of college. For once I have no earthly idea what I’m going to do next. All through college I worked in a marketing department as marketing communications coordinator. I have three-and-a-half years of experience in the workforce and they each came with bumps, hurdles, learning curves, snafus, no-nos and a boat load of personal growth. BUT… I’m still scared out of my wits because my major is Strat Comm. Do I go into advertising, do I focus more on marketing???

So here are reasons why this blog came about:

A) I’m baffled that it is my last semester.
B) Everyone is so negative about post-grads getting jobs.
C) Job markets are in a slump–aren’t they always?
D) I have some very impressive classmates in my field of study alone… scary.
E) I still don’t have a clue what I want to do when I grow up.
F) All those HGTV/Food Network shows with odd, fun jobs, and of course fame still sound so appealing (technology is making those options look too attainable, evil illusion).
G) I’m an overanalyzer, over worrywart, a plannyMcplanster and a jackoftoomanyhobbiesandtrades.

…Anyways, you get the point. Pretty much all of the feelings you are feeling and all of the same cliche reasons any post-grad freaks about, I’m currently feeling that same way… a few months early. In order to calm these thoughts, I thought “Why don’t you just keep working on yourself? Just grow your brand…”  So, I follow a lot of “Brand Yourself” gurus on Twitter and they come up with some nifty pointers and some articles, but here’s my beef with them: what’s crap and what isn’t? Pardon my French, which I may use from time-to-time, but really… these people are in the workforce–they aren’t poor little ol’ post-grads needing cutting edge ideas. Now I know these guys may know some good stuff and they are the ones out there scoping out all the newbies, but isn’t it true that maybe we need some fresh ideas of our own, too? Not to mention social media is saturated with content… what’s the best? I want to sift the junk. So, if we are all anxious and doing research about branding TEN-fold compared to these professionals (remember, because we are scared we research more) then why haven’t we built an allied community?

Let’s share our knowledge, findings and tips. Let’s tell each other about job listings, industry books, where NOT to interview, what articles you have found, fun resume pointers… Sure, I know that may sound contradictory that I fear my competition and I’m now saying we rally together, but really… someone has already thought about this… we just use an euphemism. Networking.

So, let’s not slit each other’s professional and metaphorical throats out there, but ban together to make this transition easier. Wouldn’t you rather keep our community, and fear not the ocean called the workforce? How about we minimize the sharks, and float on a raft together to make the segue of diving in a bit simpler.

So, I invite you to help be content generators. Email me at ashton.phillips89@gmail.com, follow me on Twitter @ashtonphil89 and especially subscribe, comment, share, argue and give industry leads on this here blog.

Here are topics I will be sharing about. Keep a look out:

-DFW Monster postings that sound cool
-Interview dos, don’ts, funny videos
-Resume pointers, tips and ways to stand out
-Workforce snafu stories and videos I come across
-Articles, tid-bits
-Internship opportunities
-Social Media findings
-Continuing education challenges
-Books to check out, whether I read them or come across something that sounds like it should at least sit on my shelf until I can get to it…
-Communication pointers, what to and to not say in the work force
-How to write email communications in tough circumstances
-How to have difficult conversations
-What ever lands on my lap!