Katelyn Luysterborg, PR Kent alumna and former PRSSA Kent Chapter president, spoke to students about personal branding both online and offline at the October 9 meeting.
Luysterborg, manager and social media specialist for Cleveland-based interactive marketing company Rosetta, shared her “Dos and Don’ts” of personal branding.
• Be yourself
“Above all, make sure you’re being yourself,” Luysterborg said. “It sounds like a ‘duh.’ Don’t try to be something you’re not. Find out what you’re passionate about and let it shine through.”
• Define your goals and focus
Just like public relations practitioners create goals and objectives for clients, Luysterborg recommends that students create goals and objectives for personal branding and online networking. “Know what you want, make those connections, and make sure everything you do and say is in line with that,” she said.
• Be personal and engaging
Luysterborg suggests that writing for a blog or on social media can showcase interests and skills. Social media is all about making connections, Luysterborg said, so students should cut back on talking about themselves and focus on creating conversations with others on Twitter.
• Google yourself
Luysterborg said students don’t know what’s being said about them unless they actively pursue that information. She recommends that everyone Google themselves so they are knowledgable about the information a potential employer could find about them online. If an employer brought up something they found online during an interview, students will be prepared to explain themselves openly and honestly.
• Be all business all the time
As mentioned in the “Dos,” employers want to see potential employees be themselves. Being all business all the time may make an applicant seem fake. Interviewers often use the “layover test” to determine if an interviewee’s personality fits with the culture of the organization. As explained in the 2013 film “The Internship,” the test asks whether or not the interviewer would want to be stuck in an airport for six hours with the potential employee.
• Be too casual
With the previous point said, being “overly casual can come off as sloppy.”
• Be too private
To an employer, being too private can imply that a potential employee has something to hide. Some people have specific social media accounts for their own personal use rather than for business. It’s okay to have personal social media accounts, but if an employer sees that someone’s Facebook page is very private, they have a reason to be suspicious of the person and his or her activities on the internet.
• Be afraid to network
Students should take advantage of every networking opportunity offered to them, especially through PRSSA. These opportunities could lead to jobs or internships in the future. Luysterborg encouraged students to reach out to professionals at events and follow up with them afterward through email or LinkedIn.