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Career and Branding Advice I’m Liking Lately

When I read things I find useful or thought-provoking, I can’t keep them to myself. Below are posts and articles I’ve stumbled upon recently that I liked:

1. Be more productive

I’m a sucker for tips on organization and productivity. This post over at Unclutterer details a simple way to take email from out of control, to organized and efficient (from this article at Fast Company). Set aside time to go through your inbox and divide into three categories: To-Do, Wait and Reference.

After reading, I took a look at my email and counted 18 folders and 37 sub-folders. I even had 4 sub-sub folders. Whenever I searched my email, I had to search through each folder separately. Clearly, my inbox needed a serious overhaul.

This post over at Zen Habits has more suggestions for managing email.

Forgetting things you promised to do and losing track of important records are obviously not good for your brand. Taking a some time to re-organize your email into a simple to use system can make a big difference.

2. Maintain brand consistency

ESPN Milwaukee reports on the throwback jerseys the Green Bay Packers recently selected to add as their official third uniform, a replica of the team’s jersey in 1929, when they won the first of their 12 NFL championships. CEO Mark Murphy said the team chose something to celebrate the history and traditions of the franchise, instead of a “change-of-pace futuristic color scheme” like other teams have done.

Why does this matter? Because the Packer brand is built on a storied history, small-town charm, the legends of Lambeau and Lombardi, and community ownership. Flashy, futuristic and unconventional does not fit with this brand. The unveiling of the new (old) jersey is an illustration of brand consistency.

3. Be generous

There are many posts on Student Branding that get at the importance of being helpful to others instead of focusing only on one’s own agenda. This post from Tim Sanders talks about the next step: being generous. Be genuine, unguarded and connect people in your network with resources they can use. Generosity is a mindset that will pay off down the road but, more importantly, one that builds better relationships.

4. Don’t forget about small businesses

Miguel A. Corona blogs about a student who complained that small businesses don’t recruit on her campus. Surely, campus career centers and small businesses should be connecting with one another. Students, however, need to be actively pursuing job opportunities beyond the large employers that tend to participate in on-campus recruiting. Small employers will be a driving force in the college employment market.

If your campus doesn’t have a very active on-campus recruiting program, you are lucky. You will learn how to conduct an effective job search out of necessity. That’s not easy, but it’s an advantage in that you’ll understand how to connect with a wider range of employers who do not have a campus presence, increasing the chances of getting hired.

5. Avoid bad career advice

Heather Huhman wrote this Examiner piece on a survey that looked at how often people felt they had received bad career advice and from whom. The article reminds us to consider each source of advice and its appropriateness to our own situations and to seek out different resources and perspectives when making decisions. My favorite part of the article is tip number two: let your ambitions be your guide – not anyone else’s. Knowing yourself and what you want – and being honest with yourself about that – is so important to any job search or personal branding efforts.

6. The entry-level home

Many students will begin their first entry-level job in a few months or may relocate to pursue a summer internship. These posts have cheap-o decorating tips or simple DIY projects to make your new space feel like home without spending tons of cash:

DIY Wall Art Ideas (from How About Orange)
A guide for finding hidden treasures at Goodwill and other second hand stores (from Bower Power)
Check out Instructables.com “Home” section for how-to guides on pretty much everything (via MakeUseOf.com)

There you have it – things I’ve been liking lately. What have you read lately that has been useful to you?

Author:

Kelly is a career advisor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she assists undergraduate business students with all aspects of their career development. Connect with Kelly on Twitter, LinkedIn orBrazenCareerist.

Related posts:

  1. Personal Branding Advice from the World’s Most Attractive Employer: Google
  2. Career Advice: Get Out and Volunteer!
  3. Think Different: Career Advice from Steve Jobs

One Response to “Career and Branding Advice I’m Liking Lately”

  1. Hi Kelly,

    Thanks for the shout-out!

    It is certainly important to be aware of the people who deliver advice. Although these people may certainly mean well, they just may not always have all the job hunt strategies/knowledge that one would expect.

    Great job with this post! You have a compiled a great list here for your readers.

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