An important part of the career world is your professional image. It’s never too early to start; what we do in college sets the tone for the rest of our professional lives. A few tips can help us set a strong brand.
1) Always have a recent professional headshot. Usually a headshot taken with a clean, not busy background will work best. Have a friend take it from the chest up. Clothing, jewelry and make-up should be neat but not distracting. Check the time of day and lighting before getting started. It’s a good idea to update your headshot about once a year.
2) Check privacy settings. Before posting on social media, it’s important to check what is public and what is private. Along the same lines, it’s important to go through our followers and friends and make sure they are actually people that we know.
3) Unify your social media channels. It’s a good idea to use the same picture on all of your social media channels and the same tag line/description. The tag line should be a quick summary showing who we are, what we do and our interests. This shows that we are branded across channels. It also makes it easier for connections we met at a networking event to find us.
4) Set up a strong email signature. When sending off emails it is important that our email signature includes our position or job description, company and contact information which includes phone number and the same email.
5) Have a logo and business cards. Key components to keep in mind when designing a logo are typography, color, size and simplicity. If you are stuck, ask a graphic design friend for some tips or pointers. Having business cards on hand is important for networking at events or interviews.
It’s never too early to start focusing on our professional brand. A few simple tips can set us apart and make us memorable as we head out into the real world.
Graphic by Brianna Knopf