January is “Get Organized Month” – Career Edition

Get Organized - Career EditionLast year we brought you organization made easy, and it’s once again time to clear some of the clutter that’s built up over the past year and start over fresh. If you missed our posts last year, check them out for ways to organize your schoolwork, desk, dorm, or closet. Being organized is a skill that never gets old whether you’re keeping your shoes from being all over the floor or applying for jobs and internships.When developing the beginnings of your career, keeping track of your activities, assignments, and achievements can also help make you visible to future employers. Something to consider if you are in a field like journalism, marketing, the arts or any other creative field is creating an online portfolio.

Even if you are in engineering, accounting, or law there is merit to a website or forum for which to showcase past and current projects according to an article in the NY Times.

Posting consistent records of your work online will help to you stand out, make it easy to build a resume, and can create job leads if a potential employer stumbles across your work.

Position Yourself—Brands use positioning statements as a way to help them create a more concise brand image. For example, BMW is the Ultimate Driving Machine. How will you brand yourself? A good positioning statement identifies you (College Junior, Senior etc.), explains what differentiates you (Honors, Awards, or Experience), and speaks to your target audience (Employers). It should also give a sense of what you’ve done, what you’re doing now, and where you’re focus is for the future. Be short and to the point.

Example:

“I am a college junior currently pursuing an honors Bachelor of Marketing degree at B&N University, and I am interested in pursuing an internship in the retail consumer marketing field. I recently received a first place award for the TC marketing completion, and am currently working on completing my undergraduate thesis.”

Positioning statements are great for use in an “about me” section on your portfolio, or if employers ask you about yourself.

Get it Together – Gather samples of your best writing, presentations, and projects and save them all in one folder along with your resume and a document listing people you could use as references.

Go for Professional Advice – Go to your campus career center or a trusted professional for help on creating your resume. They can help you determine what is appropriate to include or not include on your resume, and even help your create a professional format. Additionally, if you’re thinking about building a portfolio they may be able to help you pick out samples of your work and projects that showcase your talent best.

Get Online— Depending on your major and aspirations you may want to use a free portfolio platform, set up your own website domain (which can cost less than $10 a year), or use blog to display your content. Free portfolio platforms are great for a portfolio that mainly consists of writing samples. Some free ones include FolioHD, Carbonmade and Behance. Slideshare is a free online platform for displaying presentations. Prezi is also a way to display your work and creativity. Explore your options and determine which is most suitable for you!

Now not only are all set up to begin searching for that internship or entry-level job, but definitely ahead of the competition. How do you stay ahead in the current competitive job market? Tweet us your tips @BNcollege or let us know in the comments below.

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