In today’s job market, the competition is fierce. Many people are more than qualified to fulfill the limited amount of positions available. That’s why it’s crucial for college students to know how to market themselves to employers, so they can stand out from the rest of the crowd.
The same holds true for college students interning or working part-time, if they wish to translate their internship or P/T job into a more permanent position and/or to use the contacts they develop as their references.
Here are 8 ways you can market yourself, so you appear more qualified than the rest of the competition:
1. Be confident
Confidence is, in my opinion, the most critical point when it comes to selling your name. No matter what your idea is, even if it’s quite underwhelming, confidence makes it sound so much better! It improves your argument exponentially and energizes the crowd behind whatever you may be trying to sell. Confidence shows an assurance in whatever you have to say, and that in turn, makes your audience far more interested and invested in your ideas.
2. Be transparent
Express your opinions genuinely and sincerely. During interviews, make sure to answer every question to the best of your ability with as much authenticity as possible. And when your interviewers ask you about your weaknesses or your opinion on how the company can improve, be honest, but make sure to approach it with a positive outlook.
3. Know your strengths and weaknesses
To be successful in the workforce, it’s important to understand your strengths and weaknesses. In this regard, it can be beneficial to take note of your prior work ethic and skills development. For example, through evaluating past work experience, you can assess moments in which you were successful and moments when you failed. By doing this, you can understand where your most valuable assets lie, while also taking note of previous mistakes that can be prevented in the future. Not only will this help you create a framework for understanding your work potential, but it can also be a great way to begin setting goals for yourself.
Self-assessment is important, as employers always appreciate it when you’re in tune with your performance. After all, we each have unique capabilities. Understanding your strengths will only help you build on them.
4. Define your own “business model”
In the professional world, a business model is defined as “a design for the successful operation of a business.” So, you can probably guess what a personal business model would mean. To succeed in the workforce, it can be really beneficial to craft a personal model for your goals. To do this, create a framework with a clear set of standards and practices you have for your professional life, and stick to it! This will help highlight the kind of professional you want to be, while keeping your image and work ethic consistent. Having a clear idea of who you want to be, and how you want to perform, will be sure to bring you success in your work life.
5. Highlight your talents
Don’t be afraid to put yourself in the spotlight. Employers can smell fear. But all jokes aside, putting your ideas in the forefront is a great way to sell yourself. Being able to articulate your thoughts and ideas, adequately, can go a long way. Speaking up enables you to make yourself better known to other people. It also makes your ideas and talents more appealing, and in doing so, presents yourself as an exceptional person for the job at hand who knows what he or she is discussing.
6. Control your online presence
When selling yourself to employers, it’s important that you leave a digital mark. In the age of the internet, a virtual impression is just as important as a real-world one, maybe even more so considering just how much the internet occupies our daily lives. That’s why it’s crucial for you to control your online presence.
When establishing a digital footprint, it is essential to sign up for any websites where employers are looking to hire people. That means creating profiles on social sites, such as LinkedIn and Medium. It means creating profiles and registering with job boards specific to college students like The University Network (TUN.com). TUN’s job engine makes it easy and FREE for students to find internships (paid or unpaid), part-time jobs, virtual jobs, short-term projects, and brand ambassadorships. Make sure your cover letter and resume are perfect before you upload them and make them available to employers.
Make sure also that your information is consistent amongst all of your accounts and that your bios sell you in a way that is both engaging and informative. You should also be sure to moderate your presence on social media, i.e., none of your posts on any of your platforms should be deemed as controversial.
7. Always deliver your best, and honest, work
If you are already interning or working part-time, you need to put your best and most credible work forward. Every project you work on is an opportunity to prove your worth and legitimacy. Each assignment is a test of your work ethic and integrity. It’s how your supervisors and coworkers will perceive you and determine if you are a good fit going forward. This could be the difference between an offer of a job after graduation, or not, or whether you can use the employer as a reference for future employers.
8. Gather feedback and criticism
Being able to show your audience that you are an exceptional individual is what marketing yourself is all about. However, a part of having outstanding performance means learning to take criticism well. As humans, we are imperfect beings. We are prone to make mistakes at some point or another, even in the workplace.
That means it’s crucial for you to be able to take criticism and feedback during internships and/or part-time jobs. It shows a high level of maturity and work ethic if you can absorb the criticism you have been given and mold your project into its ideal form. Not to mention, being willing to accept criticism and fix your mistakes shows the people around you that you are a team player who can act accordingly when changes need to be made. That is a very beneficial asset in the workplace.
It really is imperative to stand out in today’s competitive job market, otherwise, nothing will set you apart from the long list of other qualified applicants. Taking the proper measures to market yourself will be sure to put you ahead of the competition. You just need to have the right amount of confidence, preparation, and drive. So, when it comes to job hunting, ask yourself: How can I be a unique asset to the company? What makes my proposal better than the competition? How am I going to effectively convey my ideas?
If you can answer these questions, then you will be in a fantastic spot.
Related: How to Find Internships
Robert Morizio is a student at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Robert was born and raised in New York, and enjoys a variety of interests and activities ranging from writing and music to travel and skiing.