Standing Out in the Crowd

Standing out in the crowd when going up against possibly hundreds of other applicants in a job search can be rather challenging.  However, there are a few things that you can do to make yourself stand out to potential employers. Making your own portfolio is a big step. This is not anything new to employers; several applicants will have a portfolio, but if you put your portfolio online you will be one step ahead of the competition. An online portfolio allows employers and others to view your work faster and easier than if you just have it in a simple PDF form. Putting your portfolio online also shows that you possess significant computer and technology skills, which are a must in the current world. Another benefit for an online portfolio is the fact that you will have much more designing options to display the work that you have done in the way that you want it to look.  This will give employers a more personal feel to you and your work and give them an insight into who you really are. Several Northwest Missouri State students have already mastered the art of standing out.

Just recently, a small group of students in Northwest’s AdInk Club came up with the idea of sharing their knowledge through a presentation. The presentation included how to build personal websites, portfolios, resumes and business cards. This presentation was rightfully named “Brand Yourself”. The group of AdInk executive members had great success presenting it to Northwest’s students that they even got the opportunity to present it at the American Advertising Federation – Kansas City’s career day. The presentation included various tools and websites you can use to help build yourself a unique persona. There was also the opportunity to view the member’s items and how they designed their own websites, résumés, and business cards.

Another option you have is to start your own blog. Personal blogs are a good way to your get ideas and thoughts out to other people. As well as the portfolio, a blog will give possible employers and others a better idea of whom you really are. With that in mind, make sure that the blog is professional in nature. One major reason that people do not get hired or given certain opportunities is the fact that they have a negative web presence on social media sites, blogs, and personal websites. So be sure to keep it clean! A great site to take advantage of to set up your own blog or personal website is WordPress. There is a free version of WordPress available to anyone, or you can pay and download other versions for more options. WordPress is simple to setup and use. Within no time, you can have your work and ideas online for others to view through WordPress’s organized display.

The last option is setting up an account on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social media site designed for interactivity between coworkers, classmates, friends, and employers. The site allows you to upload things such as a résumé, cover letter, and other documents. The social network lets you “connect” with people you know through personal or professional networks. The more people you connect with, the better the chance that  you will show up in someone else’s  search results. The site allows you to add your whole résumé to your profile in a detailed, logical manner that can be viewed by the public (depending on your privacy settings) and your connections. Along with that, you can also follow certain companies and organizations. This allows you to see what they are up to as well as if they have any open positions that they need filled. LinkedIn also serves as a job search website. The user is able to search for a job based on location and skills. LinkedIn is a great source to market yourself and further develop your professional network.

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