Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Brand bothering, and how it can help...

Yes, it can begin this early.

Hi all.

I tend, these days, to post just job or internship opportunities. When AdGrads was first formed, we tried to write more useful posts about how best to get into the business, but in recent years, it's been a bit job-specific.

So, with that in mind, I've decided to write a post on the topic of personal branding and how to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

With the rise of potential employers googling your name (and some of the more locked down searching Facebook), personal branding is something of a hot topic, and has been for the past few years...particularly when you're considering a career in communications, where opinions on branding (and indeed, people who like making themselves heard) are ten-a-penny.

My stock advice used to be 'start a blog, express your opinions' (particularly for those who wanted to get into planning). Now, given that most communications students/new ad folk have blogs or twitter accounts, the grad market is overrun with opinions.

Not a problem, you might claim; my opinion is good enough to get me a job/get me noticed. Well, I'd claim that it probably isn't enough any more. No, in order to truly stand out, you should try and cultivate a wealth of pre-job examples of where you've personally made a difference by improving/changing/helping someone with their communications.

Think about it - was there a local band you helped promote? Have you done something in social media? Created a character/persona who is widely followed? What did you learn? How could this experience help the businesses you're thinking of joining?

Or, for more specific job roles - have you proven how well organised you are when putting on a play at University? (This looks good for an account management role). Have you taken part in the 'Account Planning School of the Web'? (It's open to anyone, but it's good practice/a viable way of improving your strategic chops).

There are people in Advertising/Comms who have done some of these, and many of those things discussed above are the sorts of things that require the same skills to tackle situations they have to deal with daily.

Don't just talk about how important it is to be aware of digital and communicate well - live it, point to it before you interview and demonstrate your skills.

You've got a blank canvas out there to impress the industry. Who knows - if you do a good enough job, you may just get onto Brand Republic and secure that first graduate role without ever having to go on a grad scheme.


alex_ashby said...

Hey guys. Firstly, great blog- I've had two interviews from applications to jobs I found here, so thanks a lot and keep up the good work. I was wondering if you had any more suggestions for planners that will help get you noticed? Baby planner roles seem to be few and far between, so I want to convince agencies to take me on! Thanks, Alex

Anonymous said...

Hi good Post! I need little advice I went on a second interview with one of the biggest ad agencies I am pretty hopeful of my personal branding ability, but guess what I was told in feedback I was enthusiastic?? Is that possibly?

Anonymous said...

Hi good Post! I need little advice I went on a second interview with one of the biggest ad agencies I am pretty hopeful of my personal branding ability, but guess what I was told in feedback I was too enthusiastic?? Is that possibly?

Will said...

Hi Alex.

I'm really glad you've been able to do well from the site; I hope the interviews have gone well.

In terms of what to do to get noticed as a junior planner - I could recount how I got in, if it'd be useful.

Hi Anon.

I used to suffer from the 'too enthusiastic' or 'talks too much' syndrome. I think the way to tackle it is to pause for thought, and respond in shorter sentences, going on when prompted. I still suffer from it myself now and then.

alex_ashby said...

Hi Will,

Thanks for getting back to me. Yeah it'd be really helpful if you could tell me your 'story' as it were- always good to find out how planners got to where they are as there seem to be so many ways of doing it.

As a blog comment or email would be great- I'm at alex_ashby@live.com. It would be really appreciated.


Tony said...

Hi Will,

I am also very interested in hearing your story! Please post your comment or e-mail me at tjiang.hba2011@gmail.com


Will said...

Hi chaps.

Didn't see these comments come in. I'll write a note to you both at some point next week.