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Brand of Me

There are two ways of getting a job, or at least a job interview. One is to check out recruitment adverts, or target organisations you would like to work for. The other is to get yourself noticed by employers who are always on the look for new talent.

Option A is easier, but it is not unusual for the most exciting opportunities never to be advertised. To be in with a chance, you have to get yourself noticed, and having a strong, professional, online presence can be a great advantage.

Also, when you do make a job application, the chances are the employer will Google your name before deciding whether to take their interest any further. Yes, they may be influenced by negative content -those ‘informal’ posts on Facebook – but unless you behave really badly this is unlikely to be a deal breaker (though remember you will be giving big clues as to if you are reliable, ambitious and creative).

More importantly, employers want to see evidence that you understand social media, and see evidence that you can create compelling content that carries a clear and persuasive message (in this case, “Employ me, I’m good”).

Here is what Stephen Waddington (Brand Anarchy, @wadds) told the Holmes Report recently (ignore the word “youngster”!):

For a youngster coming into the industry, who wants to progress in digital – what is the one thing they fall down?

@wadds: “We get people walking into the door, who say they are digital. We find they are not digital natives at all. They are not on Twitter, Pinterest…they are not blogging. At least create your own content so you understand the challenges brands face doing this. And be curious about it.”

Clearly, a well-presented, interesting and engaged blog can help in this process, not least if you have managed to ensure that it is high(top?) of the list of Google recommendations if someone were to try and find out more about you.

One of the tips that industry big hitters like Stephen Waddington regularly mention is to engage with people online, adding comments and responding to Tweets. Do this with great care, and make sure you are adding to the debate rather exposing your inexperience!

Recently @mediations was involved in an interesting exchange with @lisabryggare. A few clicks led to a strikingly presented blog, Lisa Louisa.

Here is what Louisa Brauer told SK Uncut. If you would like your blog to be featured here, leave a comment and a link and we will do the rest!

louisa b

When and why did you start blogging?
I registered the blog about 1.5 years ago but didn’t start blogging until I started the final year in school. A lot of different people told me that I’d better start blogging to get used to doing it, and that I would gain a lot from having a blog.

How did you start? What were to biggest challenges?
First of all I liked the thought of having a domain that was ”mine” online. It took a while to figure out the technical issues, I wanted a clean web address without the .blog.se or .wordpress.com in the end and it took a while to set up. The biggest challenge was to stop worrying about what my classmates would think about what I wrote, and stop being self-critical.

What is the purpose of your blog?
The purpose is to have a place online that I can refer to. As a student and future job seeker I wanted to have a resume available online so that others can get an idea of who I am before meeting me.

Does your blog have a clear theme? If so, do you think it is important to have a clear focus?
Well, I would call it ”hobbyweb”. Or online-communication focusing on technological solutions, things I find interesting related to my education and I want to try to keep it professional.
Sure it is good to have a clear focus, it will ease readers to know what they can find on your blog, but when you start blogging you shouldn´t keep back what you want to write about just because it doesn’t fit your theme.

How easy was it to find your online voice?
Not easy, I still have not found it. But the sooner you start the sooner you get there.
I teamed up with a friend and we had the blog together about a student way of life in Lund. We both had blogging apps on our phones so it was easy to update. We did it for a term but then came summer and it fizzled out. It was fun and got me the motivation to create my own website.

What has been the biggest challenge you faced… and how did you overcome it?
The absolutely hardest thing is to be to self critical. But as I´ve talked to others about self branding, I´ve realized that it is better to have something rather than nothing.
Also deciding the graphical outlook on the website, in the beginning I changed it every other week. I get inspired by websites like http://www.beautifully-webdesign.net and http://www.coolsitecollection.com.

Has it repaid the time and effort you put in so far? And what would be your best reward?
I’ve learned the technical aspects of WordPress, a knowledge I have been of great use in various projects. It is easy to learn basic html and css, with just a little knowledge you can do some major changes to make your blog more personal.
I hope that the work I´ve put in to it will give me an advantage when I apply for jobs.

What advice would you have for anyone else thinking of beginning a blog?
Don’t take yourself to seriously and give it some time J It is okay to not write perfect and insightful posts every time, if you only want to post ”tiptop” posts every time it will take very much of your time. Just start writing something and evolve from that. Or start a blog with a couple of friends just to get started.
What have you done to encourage people to visit your blog?
It is on my ”about” on Twitter and Facebook, and of course I mention it every time I apply for a job!

Thanks for this Louisa – very best of luck with your blog!