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Self-Promotion: Standing out Amongst the Competition (By Amy Yoshinaga)

Do you find it difficult to get hired or even get an interview with an employer? I know because I do. With the job market becoming more competitive, it becomes more common and convenient for employers to seek employees through the Internet. Physically going into an establishment and handing in a resume is no longer the way to get a job. Due to the lack of physical contact with employers, it takes much more than a great resume and cover letter to get hired. Today, job seekers must use various tools to market themselves not only online, but offline as well.

Self-marketing, or personal branding can help job seekers highlight skills, values, and experiences. At the same time, it also helps them to separate themselves from the competition. There are a variety of strategies that we can use to self promote ourselves. Here are some suggestions: 

Build an Online Presence

As we are living in a digital age, it is critical for us to build an online presence. Keep in mind that it is not uncommon for future employers to Google search a job candidate or look at the candidate's social media profiles. With that being said, our online presence should be clean and highlight our skills and experiences. Some ways we can build our online presence is by creating our own website, LinkedIn profile, or a blog. A person can go into more depth about his/her skills and experiences by building a personal website (Self Marketing, n.d.). A job seeker can also show how unique s/he is by what s/he posts and how creative s/he gets with the layout of the website. With a LinkedIn profile, a job candidate can expand on what s/he puts down on her/his resume and has recommendations that can help market himself/herself more. Additionally, a job seeker can display her/his work. For example, if a job seeker is a photographer, s/he can put a link to her/his photography website. Through blogging, one can show his/her knowledge of the industry s/he is working in. Blogging also keeps a job seeker up to date with the current trends (Self Marketing, n.d.).

Network

Networking is another strategy that can help with self-promotion, such as attending conferences or volunteering in a local community. In conferences, a job seeker can meet with the managers from the potential employers and possibly make a good impression. By volunteering, a job seeker can meet people with similar interests, who might help the job seeker find a job (Hendricks, 2014). 

Maintain Relationships

Although networking is an important strategy in self-marketing, it is just as important for a job seeker to maintain closely connected with the networks. Simply having only one conversation with a person is not enough to build a strong network. Those whom we met or spoke to for only once would probably not refer us for a job, nor would they introduce us to their networks. If we maintain a good relationship with our networks, over time they will learn about us and be more willing to help us when are are looking for a job. Remember that building a network is an ongoing process and requires time and effort. A simple way to maintain a good relationship with others is by connecting them on social media platforms. By doing this we can easily communicate with people and stay current with what is happening in the industry.

As a student who is about to graduate in a year, I want to be prepared so that I can differentiate myself from the competition when I look for a job. When it comes to getting a job, it is not as cut and dry as it used to be. There are more competitions, and employers are looking for those applicants who can stand out above the rest. I believe that self-marketing becomes critical for finding a job today and requires time and effort.

What strategy do you think is the most useful for self-marketing? Is it possible for us to self-promote too much?

About the Author


Amy Yoshinaga is a junior at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is majoring in Hospitality Management with an emphasis in restaurant management, but also has an interest in event planning and beverage management. She is expected to graduate in the spring of 2018. Upon graduation, she is hoping to get a job within the event or beverage industry. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.


References:

Self Marketing | What is Self Marketing? (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2017, from http://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/self-marketing.html

Hendricks, D. (2014, August 21). 6 Ways To Network More Effectively. Retrieved February 20, 2017, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2014/08/21/6-ways-to-network-more-effectively/#356dd7c538ea

* The picture of interview was downloaded from https://techcrunch.com/2015/06/03/how-todays-tech-will-shape-tomorrows-job-interview/


This post was edited by Yujia Lian and Linchi Kwok. 

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