Monday, May 11, 2009

Temple Commencement Address Part II: Sell Yourself & The Value You Bring

Last week, I wrote about my upcoming Temple University speech during graduation ceremonies.

The commencement from the School of Communications & Theater is this Thursday, May 14th.

I’ve spent many hours writing and practicing my presentation.

The first point I described last week (and will deliver) was about the importance of finding/identifying both your passion and your talents.

The second key idea that I’ll share with graduates is the importance of selling yourself and the value you bring.

When selling, not only do you need to use multiple channels, but also do it in a positive way – one that projects an image of someone who is polished and professional, not that of a college undergrad.

What are these channels? I break them down into two categories:

New Age -- Using Modern Technologies

•Check, and any other job web sites.

•Create multiple resumes and save them as nonmodifiable PDFs or JPEGs with appropriate file names on your computer. These resumes will each focus on different, specific traits/qualifications, depending on the job/industry you are targeting. If you code them right, you can send the right one as an e-mail attachment at the drop of a hat. Remember that all of these resumes, and their accompanying cover letters, need to be proofread by someone else. You’re too close to them.

•Develop a web site which highlights your capabilities.

•Create a YouTube account, and upload a video resume

•Create a blog, or blog on others' blogs.

•Tweet on Twitter

•Use other social networking sites like LinkedIn, Myspace and Facebook.

Again, remember to clean up your act. Recruiters are using these tools, and checking you out and your digital “footprint”.

Ask yourself what virtual impressions are you creating and making with these businesspeople/potential employers?

Old-Fashioned Techniques

•Talk to people, don’t just text or e-mail them.

•Expand your real life network. It is ultimately people who hire other people.

Go to your friends’ parents and parents’ friends. Let others know what you want and what you are capable of.

Spend less time texting your friends and listening to music. Everywhere you go, make it a point to meet people -- a variety of people.

College students and business professionals need to be active in their community. Join trade groups and clubs. Consider volunteering, too. Helping others also provides great dividends.

You can’t wait to be discovered – it is up to each graduate (or professional) to sell him/herself. Be proactive, not reactive.

Next week, I will write about the third part of my commencement address – looking for, and creating, specific opportunities.

Wish me well this Thursday!

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