Tag Archives: career

Developing a Killer Personal Brand

This post was first featured on Hipurbangirl.com

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I recently started a new job, and on the first day my boss told me that what separated me from all the other interview candidates and ultimately won me the position was my online brand.

Whether you’re on the job-hunt, launching your own business or looking to establish yourself online, it’s important to invest some time and thought into the business of you. By effectively developing and marketing your online reputation you’ll be in a better position to target your personal and professional goals.

Get Recognized and Be Consistent 
Determining who you are and what you do is the first step in creating your personal brand and an online marketing strategy for yourself. Think about your strengths, skills, experience and interests, and ask yourself what you can bring to the table that will set you apart from the competition. Do you have a knack for graphic design, or are you a makeup artist experienced in bridal looks? When you know your strengths and passions you can highlight them by creating a personal brand that’s consistent with your objectives. Whether your audience is hiring managers, peers or potential clients they should be able to get an understanding of who you are, where you’ve been and what you can offer when they connect with you.

Dream Job

Decide your core message and start building your profiles. It’s a good idea to use the same username across all platforms so you’ll be easy to find on every network. Using a site like Namecheck you can search to see if your name or chosen brand name is available across all major social networks and then claim them for your use. About.me is a great tool to build yourself a splash page that will lead your audience to all of your social pages and websites from one place.

Google yourself and take note of what already exists about you online. Take the time to go through the privacy settings on your Facebook account and remove anything you wouldn’t want a potential boss to see. You’ll also need a headshot of yourself to use across all your channels. Make sure it’s simple, professional and easily recognizable so your peers can pin point you when you’re networking in real life!

Know Your Niche
Trying to be something or someone you’re not online won’t benefit you in the real world. Thus, it’s in your best interest to be honest and realistic with what you know and what you like rather than faking it in an attempt to win influence and recognition. Select your area of focus based on the industry you work in, your skills and experience and what you are passionate about. This will let your true self shine through online and get you connected with others who have similar interests.

Dream Job

Share Who You Are
How will you communicate your personal brand to potential clients, peers and hiring managers? Knowing the right social platforms to use to get yourself heard will ensure you’ll stand out from the crowd. A photographer might want to promote themselves online with a digital portfolio or Flickr account, while a stylist might want to share outfit posts on a blog and connect with other fashion enthusiasts via Twitter. Make sure you are present in the channels that will connect you with your target audience. This is your opportunity to leave a memorable first impression and leave your audience curious to learn more about you.

Life Quotes

It may not happen over night, but thinking through your personal and professional goals and aspirations to put together your personal brand and marketing strategy will lead you on the path to a future of endless possibilities.

Tell me: How have you used your online brand for career success?

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How to Find More than Just a Paycheque

For me, writing is more than just a paycheque; it’s an outlet for thoughts, ideas and discussion. It’s also a wonderful way to meet people with an interesting story, or learn about a new business.

Through my work I’ve discoveredAltCareer.com, a job search website that I helped to launch last month. AltCareer believes work is about more than just a paycheque too, and their job postings highlight positions available at small to medium-sized companies that offer employees perks and benefits that will boost their job satisfaction and personal happiness. Sign up for their job board if you’re looking for a career that can complement your lifestyle.

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Giving Students and New Grads a Voice

You know I’m all about networking, seminars and interning to help you make the way towards your dream job, so it’s no surprise I would be all on board when I heard the country’s leading online career resource spot, TalentEgg.ca, was launching an awareness campaign to fight Gen-Y under-employment.

The platform is called Student Voice, and it’s mission is to give students the opportunity to voice their school-to-work transition concerns, experiences and wishes to Canadian employers. Each day students and new grads will be sharing their career-related stories, and so far almost two-dozen young professional have contributed.

And of course I was one of them. You can check out my story about something that is near and dear to me: unpaid internships. Read: Attract and Retain the Best Talent by Offering Paid Internships.

If you are a student or new grad with a positive career experience story or wish the job hunting process was a bit different for young professionals, I would encourage you to submit your story to this great campaign. We all need to work together to voice our opinions if we want things to get better for our generation!

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Writer’s Mad Libs Series

Mad Libs (from ad lib, a spontaneous improvisation) is a phrasal template word game where one player prompts another for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story. The game is especially popular with American children and is frequently played as a party game or pastime.

I’ve been looking for some new ways to have fun and incorporate contributors to my blog, and I finally decided on something really cool!

I came across this Fashion Blogger Mad Libs Series on The Fashionist and thought it would be a great concept to apply to writers. So in the next little while I will be posting my own version of the every popular Mad Libs which have been filled out by writers and bloggers whom I admire and think you could learn a lot from. I hope this series will inspire and entertain you. And of course, if you know someone who would be perfect for this series (maybe you?) please be in touch!


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Guest Post for The Happy Freelancer

A little while ago I was asked by my Twitter friend and fellow PWAC member, Heidi Turner, to write a guest post for her wonderful writing blog. The Happy Freelancer shares many great personal stories as well as career advice for freelance writers. I was honoured to be asked to contribute to this wonderful online resource along with many other freelance writers whom I admire.

Check out the many inspiring posts as well as my guest post about my experiences as an intern in All Work and No Pay: Surviving Unpaid Internships.

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Should you work for Free?

Keeping up with all this intern talk, I found something else I’d like to share for all my past, present and future intern amigos.

My friend @laurenonizzle found this flow chart created by designer Jessica Hische.

You start in the middle and answer some YES and NO questions to find out if that unpaid internship/job is worth all your time and effort.

You will probably find this chart humorous and quite frankly very truthful, but I have to say it was a little quick to judge. While there are mixed views about working for free (tough competition, exploitative, necessary for success, slave labour) in these times I don’t really see a way you can’t get to where you want to go without one (or two, or three…).

Never mind the networking and hands-on experience, but internships give you a sneak peak into the word of whatever career you have your heart set on. And what better way to find out if it is really the right thing for you than having the chance to do a “trial run” per se for a few months. You may love it and know for certain that there is nothing else better for you, or you may find it was not how you imagined and go back to the drawing board for another shot at a career path that you will love and excel at.

Internships can be draining, emotional, intimidating, frustrating, exciting, and rewarding all at once. You have to believe in what you love to do enough to be willing to work for free (hopefully only for a little while anyway). You have to be smiling and helpful and eager to do whatever is thrown your way, even when you know you are above the task and you feel like yelling, “WHY WON’T YOU HIRE ME ALREADY?”

There's more to being an intern than coffee runs.

But in the end it is all about what you make of the opportunity. Be smart enough to pick an organization with a track record for good internship experiences, and talk with anyone and everyone you know about their experiences and words of wisdom. Don’t be shy. Ask the stupid questions. Get there early and bring a pen and a notebook. Always ask if there is anything more you can do. And don’t forget those thank you notes when it’s all over.

Be the best you can be.

You may be still waiting for your internship(s) to pay off (I know I am), but it will happen. One day. And when it does, I hope you remember to be nice to YOUR interns.

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2010 Photo Diary

Uploading the last of my 2010 pictures onto iPhoto today, I couldn’t help but browse through all my albums from the last year. The groups of photos sparked so many good times, so many happy memories, and new experiences that made it a year to remember. So I decided it would be fun to put together a little photo diary of my year in review. Here is to a wonderful year and to the start of another great one.

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New Year, New Motivation

Spend less, save more. Eat better, drink less. Be nicer, stop worrying.

Resolution-speak is in full force this time of year, and soon you may find yourself falling victim to the cliché of grandiose claims that won’t make it to Martin Luther King Day.

I’ll have to admit in years past I haven’t given much thought to New Year’s Resolutions, or at least I haven’t made any that I had full intentions of sticking to. But I do think the idea of sitting down with yourself for a moment to be serious about how you can live your best life (al la Oprah) for the next 12 months is a pretty good idea.

2010 was a year full of ups and downs for me both professionally and personally, but I’m ready to dispose of my negativity and scepticism and keep the fresh momentum going. I am ready to get out there; I have people to meet, jobs to apply for, stories to write and more to learn.

After what has been the biggest decade of my life milestone-wise, (three graduations, living on my own, adventures abroad and invaluable experiences as an intern) I’m excited to see what the next few years have in store.

So with the shiny clean slate of the New Year just around the corner I propose we resolve to make a personal vision of how we’d like to see ourselves in the next year. Mine includes lots of writing, lots of good food and fun, and working with smart and creative people who have a lot of wisdom to pass my way. Whatever yours looks like, keep it attainable, keep it real, keep it going every day.

Wether your goals for 2011 includes seeing your name printed on a masthead or not, I wish you a wonderful start to the New Year! I look forward to bringing you new stories and experiences in the coming weeks.

Cheers!

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Funny Business

Okay so I’m really not good at making jokes in real life or in writing, but I know someone who is.

Here name is Claire Stollery, and she’s a recent Drama grad turned stand-up comedian. Claire has only been cracking jokes for a few months and she’s already performed in front of audiences in New York City, Toronto and Los Angeles.

Check out my Q&A story with the funny girl on TalentEgg.ca

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Interning 101

I saw this on my friend Nicole Wray‘s Blog a little while ago and thought it would be nice to share with all those I know who are interns right now or will be interns in the near future.

We could all use some reminders now and again to get where we want to be.

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