As the semester winds down, I feel it is very helpful to reflect on what I have learned in this class and how I have applied these lessons so far. Many of the necessary skills for a young business professional such as writing emails, cover letters, and resumes, have already made my life much easier and productive. As the semester has become more busy though, I have found myself sliding back into old habits and not being as proactive as I should be at working towards the goals I set out. Just like in the beginning of the semester, this reflection has prompted me refocus on where I see myself going in the future and the areas I need to work on to get there.
One of the areas I need to actively work on is my personal brand through my website and social media. Mainly, this comes down to me becoming more active and consistent. As it stands, my online persona is not hurting me, but it is not helping me either. This is due mainly to my limited presence on any site at all. In the future, I would like to start posting more articles and news that I find interesting and relevant. This can help my real personality show through on my personal and professional websites. Additionally, this can show potential employers that I am knowledgeable about what is going on in my target industries and the global climate in general.
Another reason that I feel my online persona is important to actively work on is so that I can leverage my network in the future. In the digital world we live in, there is an increasing number of ways to find jobs and opportunities online. This includes traditional job posting sites and newer social media platforms like LinkedIn. As we have all heard many times, it’s all about who you know. If I can increase my network now, I only increase my chances of finding connections in the right places in the future. Additionally, if I only use these networks when I am looking or asking for something, it will make my profile, and me as a person, feel unauthentic. Therefore, I am going to actively manage my profiles in order to give an authentic view of who I am.
An additional key area that I feel I can constantly improve on is my application materials. This includes the standard resume and cover letter almost every potential employer will ask for. In order to improve my cover letters, the first thing I need to do is practice. When I was asked to write my first one, it felt daunting and I had no idea where to even start. As I wrote them for more and more companies though, it started to feel easier and I became more in tune to what qualities I wanted to highlight in order to stand apart. In the future, I want to continue this refinement process and show companies why I should be hired over the next candidate. Additionally, I realize that I need to research each individual company and position more in depth. This will hopefully allow me to connect more personally and show my genuine interest in the company.
Finally, I am happy that this class has made me do a lot of self evaluation. As a junior in college trying to find where I fit in the world, this has helped me begin to discover who I am and what I would like to stand for. This manifested in the visual branding and rhetoric I chose for my resume presentation shown here, and also my personal website. In the future, I would like to continue to live by the values I laid out and actively take the actions that will help me accomplish my goals.