By: Jackie Dieker
No matter what internship route you are dreaming of, your first job is branding yourself. The online branding practice is a relatively new concept, creating an intimidating territory for those trying to break into the digital world. However, your personal brand is a great opportunity for you to assume complete creative control of how you are perceived by employers. For those interested in learning about personal brand development and how you can dip your toes in the water, I have put together a resource guide to break things down.
The first step to finding your brand is by asking the right questions. When you are looking for internship positions, it is essential to know your strengths and discover what makes you different. Here are a few questions I recommend keeping in the back of your mind and consistently refer to throughout the process:
- What makes me unique?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- What are my passions/goals?
Once you have reflected on your own perception of your individuality, it is also important to determine how you are perceived through other lenses. For example, asking your friends, family, and co-workers how they would describe you could yield a better understanding of how to grow your personal brand. Asking these individuals to use three adjectives they would use to describe you would produce a list of essential qualities that you could utilize.
Let’s Find Your Audience
After evaluating your current qualities, your next step would be to identify your target audience. If you are using your personal brand to appeal to potential internship recruiters, it is important to meet their needs. Cementing a strong resume (although it may seem obvious here) is make-or-break. Stay away from online templates when creating your resume. Yes, this includes Canva.
I found Adobe Illustrator or InDesign extremely easy to use when creating my own resume. This also gives you the opportunity to produce a creative piece that highlights your qualifications. It can also be a great point to bring up during an interview. If you are more focused on the business side of communications and are not confident with design, working with a designer to create branded templates, graphics, and logos would be a great idea. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com for any questions or inquiries regarding brand design!
Grab That URL
Now, you may be asking how exactly you get your brand out there and on the screen of recruiters. My biggest tip is ensuring that you have ownership over your name. Using tools such as Squarespace and Wix allow users to purchase a URL. Not only does this give you an online portfolio platform, but it also gives you a concise link to send to recruiters and list on your business card.
Another integral aspect of your personal brand is to keep it consistent. I recommend sticking to an established color palette. This is simple when it comes to online website builders as they have many to select from. I recommend finding shades that reflect your work. For example, if you work with a very minimalistic palette throughout your designs or articles, stick to it. Furthermore, make sure each post on your online portfolio is intentional. By this, I mean that each resource is on par in terms of the quality of your service. Something that could help you out with this process is asking yourself: “Can I talk about each piece with passion during an interview?”
Lastly, and most importantly, be authentic. Allow your personality to show and promote your unique self. No matter what your brand is or what platform you choose to use, recruiters are looking for hard-working individuals who are consistent and confident in their ideas and capabilities.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.