Personal Branding – helping marketing grads get a gig

Just presented to final year Comms students at Charles Sturt University who are doing a course on ‘personal branding’ and how to create a portfolio to get their first gig in an ad agency.

I shared some of my experiences and also what I believe young marketing graduates need to think about when looking for a gig/preparing for an interview:

– Figure out what your positioning is – just like a brand, you have to have a unique point of view on the world

– Be interesting – first impressions count so it’s key to be seen as interesting and curious

– Showcase your passion – whether that be writing a blog or whatever, show how your interest in one element of pop culture translates into helping you connect with people

– Be specific and focused – never go in saying ‘ I want to work in advertising”. Always have a point of view on where you see yourself in the future

– Be Google-able – whether that be creating a blog, writing thought pieces, posting a preso on slideshare, make sure you have professional related stuff that pops up when you’re Google’d

-First impressions count, don’t be afraid to do something ballsy to get someones attention – especially when you know you’re competing with 50 other candidates for an interview

– Be very careful with how you manage your online identiy, particularly Facebook. Be sure you’re happy for a potential employer to take a gander at your facebook page, as they always will google you to find out about you

– If you’re a Planner, have a portfolio with your best briefs (and the resulting creative ideas), have your work on your iphone or links on your smarthphone so you can always share

-Remember in interviews, 80% of communication is non verbal, so focus on how you’re communicating to people with your body language

Just a few things i was babbling on about for an hour, but hopefully the grads at CSU found it somewhat interesting. Thanks for having me guys.


4 thoughts on “Personal Branding – helping marketing grads get a gig

  1. I was one of the students who was lucky enough to attend that presentation and it was vastly interesting, informative and insightful. As I wish to gain employment in strategy planning I particularly gained alot from it.
    It has inspired me to look inside myself and really decide what I want to do, where I want to be, and what I want to specialise in…Thank you again Dan for giving us students such an oppotunity!

    Christopher Colter
    4th year advertising/marketing student

  2. Hi Dan

    Just like to thank you for your insight yesterday. Listening to you talk yesterday about developing a passion gave me some focus to where I wanted to head.

    I have been tossing up between market research or strategy planning. Two very different areas. I never though about developing a passion. I now want to be a great Strategy Planner with a strong focus on Social Media. I love the idea that Social Media isn’t just about projecting for a company but also listening and responding. I know that Strategy Planning involves research but I like the personal connection of Social Media.

    Anyway it seems your not the only one to babble. Thanks again


  3. Hi Dan,

    Just like the two boys, I was also at this class and I also want to say thanks. I think a lot of us didn’t really have any idea where we were heading after we graduated and what you had to say what was quite motivating. Particularly when you were talking about being specific and focused, it never really occurred to me that I really need to know where I want to go because I always thought just saying ‘advertising’ was enough. After your talk I started to really think about the things that interest me, and how I can incorporate them into a career. I have always been interested in what makes people tick, which is why I chose Advertising, but I am now thinking about taking that further into Strategy Planning.

    So, Thanks Again,
    Laura 😀

  4. thanks chris, james and Laura for your glad you guys found my presentation useful. Feel free to email me if you have any further questions or want to bounce ideas off me in the future…Good Luck !!!

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