Sell yourself online


An important part of getting the full student experience is marketing yourself from an early point. Self-promotion is a necessary evil if there’s any hope of entering the job market and if you don’t get started ASAP, it’s hard to catch up to the pack.

We’re evidence of the ever-changing work landscape – hand-me-down aspirations coupled have been forced to change and adapt to a more technological approach, becoming fused with fresh-off-the-factory-line methods.

Stamping your name on everything is one of the surest ways to get your brand out there. It sucks because describing yourself as a “brand” feels like you’re just another member of the herd. But that’s the essence of it.

As far as employers are concerned, at least at first, students looking to get into the industry are a dime a dozen. This is true whether you’re hoping to go into journalism, teaching or microwave cookery.

But what sets one person apart from the rest is their metaphorical footprint, both in terms of connections and in terms of online presence.

“Networking” is a buzzword people love to hate, but it’s effective. If you’re applying for a job and the employer just happens to talk to someone who knows and likes you, it can go a long way towards prospective jobs.

At the same time, so can a large digital footprint. While our parents are learning what a high-speed connection is and how many megabytes Solitaire takes to install, we’re bred with a digital DNA. Social media presence is (or should be) second nature.

Digital resumés on LinkedIn, a lack of drunken photos on Facebook and evidence of mainline software mastery are pretty much essential to make an employer stop and take notice of you.

Our parents didn’t have to worry about making off-colour or drunken tweets. Nobody cared if they used Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. And in most cases, they didn’t even need to be overly effective with computers.

Their scripts were hand-written or done with a typewriter, not packets of meticulous metadata.

And that has become yet another tool we need if we hope to get out of student-life alive.