Tips for building a successful personal brand

As college students, many of us are unfamiliar with the concept of personal branding.

However as graduation approaches and the job hunt begins, it becomes clear that having an established personal brand is crucial in differentiating yourself from the competition. It is a combination of who you are as a person and who you are professionally.

  • Are you someone that would fit into that company’s corporate culture?
  • Are you a pleasant and well-rounded person to work with?

Your personal brand can be worth just as much as skills and experience on a resume.

Be true to who you are.

The first step of establishing a personal brand is knowing yourself. Embracing your quirks and differences is key because each of us has the ability to bring something new to the table. Think about all the aspects that make up your personality. What are your passions or hobbies? Stay true to yourself and hold yourself with confidence. This can make all the difference when networking and interviewing for jobs.

Know your values and beliefs.

Whether it’s having a strong work ethic or believing that everyone’s ideas deserve to be heard, know what your core values and beliefs are and stick to them. Your morals are an essential part of your personal brand because they affect decisions you make, both in and out of the workplace.

It’s not just who you are in a professional setting.

Personal branding includes your appearance and behavior in the office and out on the town. Believe it or not, the way you carry yourself outside of work impacts your personal brand, so it is important to always represent yourself in a classy way. This also includes posts and pictures on social media accounts. Before you post, think about if your future employer saw your Facebook or Instagram pictures. How do you want to portray yourself?

Show your personality and sense of humor on social media.

We have all heard that it is necessary to have an active social media presence when applying for jobs. To make your profile stand out against other post-grads, show your unique personality wherever you can. Have a witty and creative bio summary on LinkedIn. Post thoughtful and relevant information regularly on Twitter. Show that you are engaged in the industry that you wish to be hired in. But remember to always make sure the content you post is appropriate and tasteful.

Have a solid elevator pitch.

Whether you’re attending a career fair or a job interview, you need to be able to sum up who you are and why you’re worth hiring in a minute or less. You may need to practice your elevator pitch to make sure you get your main points across. This will be the first impression you give to potential employers, so it is paramount that you sell your personality and skill set as much as possible.

Screen shot 2015-04-02 at 3.30.16 PMPhoto credit : Daryl Scott

by Diana Gallagher, assistant account executive

Budgeting Through Life

One of the key things I have struggled with while attending college is budgeting. At the start of the month I feel like I have enough money to last, but then two weeks later I am wondering where my money has gone and how I am going to make it to the end. I bet everyone has been in this struggle at one point or another. And the areas in like that take our money vary from person to person like clothes, groceries, or eating out too much.

Below are a list of tips that have helped me with managing my budget and helping me save some cash here and there:

Tip 1:Realistic About Your Budget

Start by focusing on how much money you are going to have for the month. Then figure out how much you are willing to budget per each spending category like rent, groceries, bills, restaurants, clothes, etc. This helps to give you an overall idea of the budget you will be working with for the month or year even.

Tip 2: Guess High for Expenses

Doing this will give you wiggle room later on during the month. For instance, you thought you were going to have to pay $60 per week for groceries but two of the weeks you only spent $40. So that extra crash can be used for another category or put into your savings.

Tip 3: Always Keep Your Goal in Mind

Whether that goal is to save for a place after college or just to save for a trip coming up, it is always good to keep a goal in mind. This allows you to always be aware of your spending and keep you on track so you don’t accidently go roaming through a clothing websites and buy 5 different scarves just cause you can.

Tip 4: Cant Keep Track of Paper, Use an App!

The need to save every paper receipt and to store them somewhere sounds impossible and just annoying. Plus nowadays nobody goes anywhere without their phone so why not use an app. An app that I use to budget my expenses and love is Mint. This connects with your bank account and breaks up your expenses into categories. You can set the amount you are willing to spend in each category and Mint will alert you when you are getting close to passing that limit. It also allows you to get savings goals for yourself. Overall it is really easy use to use and designed beautifully.

For more info on the app:

https://www.mint.com/how-mint-works?cid=ppc_gg_nb_stan_403-5279512-4830524&KID=e5efc1ff-e76a-43ee-9299-99a9b4376fce&gclid=CjwKEAjwucmoBRDmysGsgbDr5j0SJAAxL9abK6W35CxHcD5A-LFayqcyY-bsvkAwE0gLicGoul5__xoCFM_w_wcB

Tip 5: Minimize Your Plastic

The amount of credit cards you can open nowadays baffle me. Whether it is through your bank or at one of your favorites stores the possibilities seem endless and all to tempting. The best thing you can do is minimize the number of cards you open because managing all those various accounts can be confusing and lead to forgetfulness.

Tip 6: Stuff Happens!

Above all never forget that life is unexpected and that if your bust your budget on something that you really wanted to do that week it okay, just make it up next week!

I know once I get out of college the need to budget will be that much more important because bills and expenses that I haven’t even thought about now will become apart of my life. So think ahead and master the art of budgeting because money makes the world go round!Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 12.54.30 PM

by Rachel Frazer, graphic designer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Grid Generator – Custom CSS grids for your next web design project

 

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As a graphic designer I’m often presented with large sets of information that I need to format in an attractive, easy-to-read fashion. To accomplish this I often make use of a grid system. Grids break up the page into multiple sections through the use of evenly spaced, vertical lines.

With the rapid development of web technologies, we can now use grid systems in website designs that use CSS, the formatting language of the web. There are a number of different CSS grid systems that can be found with a quick Google search, but if they don’t match your needs then you need to make one yourself. The process isn’t too complicated, but it takes time and involves a lot of arithmetic that a computer could be doing for you.

I created the Gridley Grid Generator so that you can quickly generate customized CSS grids to fit your needs. Even better, by setting the units field to ‘%’ you can create a responsive grid system that will shrink and grow to fit the user’s screen size.

Need help using your new grid system? Visit www.mildwestdesigns.com/gridley/help.html for more information.

Find this useful? Check out my CSS Drop-down tutorial

By Paul Hebert, graphic designer

5 steps to improve your live tweeting of sporting events

One thing I really enjoyed while working on the newspaper at Chico State, The Orion, was live tweeting sporting events.  It’s unfortunate I no longer have the opportunity to live tweet sporting events for the Orion because it was one of the most fun and interactive experiences about reporting on sports. It gave me a chance to interact with my followers and really show my talent as a live tweeting sports journalist.

I now find myself at sporting events wanting to tweet out the score of the game, or take a photo and tag @theorion_sports even though I am no longer a part of the organization. I several times got best “breaking news reporting” for my weekend sports tweets and coverage when I was on The Orion. This is an honor given out to someone who has gone above and beyond with their best breaking news reporting efforts for that week. That honor was something I cherished and was proud of.

Here are some tips I find useful for live tweeting at sporting events.

Tip No. 1: Introduce yourself as the live tweeting correspondent for the event.

I have seen it too many times, journalists don’t introduce themselves through Twitter saying that they will be covering the game. It is necessary to do this so your followers on Twitter will know that you are covering the event and will be providing updates throughout the game. It is also good to tag your news source that you work for to show you’re a reputable reporter.

Tip No. 2: Tag the athletes or relevant people/organizations in your tweets if possible.

Athletes and notable people may enjoy and are likely to retweet them after the event. Many, if not all, college teams have social media accounts, which can help you connect with or follow the team and the players on it. This means that your tweet could be seen beyond your followers.

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Tip No. 3: Try to include everything relevant to the event in your tweets.

The key word here is “try”. Trying to fit all the information into 140 characters can be a tough task, so before you send out your tweet, review it. Make sure all the information you have in there would be relevant to others reading the tweet. If you can’t fit it all in one tweet, write out “1/2” at the beginning of your tweet and on the second one put “2/2”. This will ensure you are providing all the relevant information to your followers. Also think about what your followers are looking for: the score of the game, who is playing well and how much time is left.

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Tip No. 4: Post photos in your tweets.

Give life to your tweets by posting photos while reporting on the game. This can give those on Twitter a great image of what you’re tweeting about. Although it can be tough to do in the midst of a game, it is always nice to give an image of what you are covering.

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Tip No. 5: Don’t forget to tweet out the final story.

This is the key to getting your story read by as many people as possible.Post a tweet at the end of the game announcing the score and say that you will have a story up in a little while. Once the story is written, post the link and encourage your Twitter followers to go read it. Usually your organization will tweet the link of the story, which you as a journalist should retweet or tweet yourself.

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By Chance Keenan, account executive

Deadline Chaos

The insanity of deadlines is slowly sneaking up on us. Spring break and the end of the semester are around the corner. I want to lighten up the mood by giving people a few laughs before the chaos that comes with deadlines begin, especially those coming up before spring break. This comic strip is a representation of what is going through my mind.

Good luck and let the games begin!

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By Daryl Scott, Art Director

 

Confidence is key – How to be a confident leader

When it comes to the professional world, confidence is key. Successful people will tell you to have a confident handshake, a confident gaze and to dress like a confident business person.

If you do all these things right, you will come off as a confident person. But if your confidence is a façade, it can only last so long.

In my six weeks of being an account executive at Tehama Group Communications, I’ve learned you must have inner confidence before outer confidence can flourish. “Fake it ‘til you make it” doesn’t actually work when you are trying to lead a team of people who count on you to call the shots.

I have always thought of myself to be a self-assertive. Yet when I began my internship at TGC, I found that I was doubting and second-guessing myself. The time came for me to be a leader and suddenly that confidence was gone.

My confidence had never really been put to the test before. A firm handshake and a great business outfit got me through the door, but the rest was up to me to prove my self-assertiveness. From the first week of my internship to now, I’ve learned a lot about how to maintain my self-confidence, even when I’m feeling doubtful.

Screenshot 2015-03-05 12.23.26Image courtesy of leadersinhighheals.com

Get organized and take charge.

You cannot be a confident leader if you do not properly plan. When it comes to conducting a meeting, make sure to create an agenda and know what you will say once the meeting begins. Keep control of the conversation. There will be some off-topic comments, but keep control of the tasks that need to be covered so the meeting stays on track.

Connect with your team.

No one wants to take direction from someone who seems disinterested in the people around them. Connect with the people you are working with and establish a relationship in the first stages of a project. Not only will they see you as less of a tyrant just rattling out order but they will be more inclined to churn out their best work every time they’re tasked with something.

Create a power mantra.

I recently started taking yoga classes and made my mantra, “You are confident, strong and centered.” It sounds cheesy, but convincing yourself of your own abilities can have a hugely positive effect on your psyche. Even if you’re not into the mantra idea, yoga classes may help clear your mind, which can also help you steer clear of being an overbearing leader.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

It is good to remember that your confidence can always be improved simply by asking for guidance. Confident people are not invincible, and can still make mistakes.Asking for help is what led me to become more confident in my capabilities as a leader. It reassured me that being a leader is a learning process, that takes time and experience.

by Jane Eveland, Account Executive

Bottled Personality

Having a reusable water bottle seems like second nature here in Chico. Aside from the many benefits that come from reusable bottles, our water bottles show others who we are by how we choose to decorate them. Whether it’s a sticker repping your organizations or your favorite food spot in town, our bottles allow us to give people a glimpse of our personality.

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Photo Credit: Amber Speciale

Some people may say that decorating your reusable bottle is purely to easily identify it, others may see it as a way to express themselves to those around them. Personally, I choose to decorate my reusable water bottles because it not only allows me to keep track of them, but it allows me to show people my personality and interests.

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Photo Credit: Amber Speciale

Other than being a personal statement, reusable bottles have significant benefits. According to Ban the Bottle the five top benefits of a reusable bottle include:

  1. Better for our environment by reducing the amount of fossil fuels and toxins released into the air during production
  2. Durable, stylish and can help you decrease your carbon footprint
  3. Tap water is more cost-efficient, Bottled water can cost up to 500 times the cost of tap water
  4. Using a BPA and lead free reusable bottle is healthier for you and your family
  5. Convenience as most public facilities have water fountains to fill up your water bottle

Many people think these facts are common knowledge, yet millions of plastic bottles are purchased daily. Chico State students not only take their environment into consideration but also do it with style and personality.

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Wanting to jazz up your personal bottles but need some inspiration? Check out this e-how article for some ideas to get you started. If you are trying to decide to keep your bottle clean and new looking, or adding some personal flare, make sure you have fun with it and play around with color, textures and different embellishments.

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Photo Credit: Amber Speciale

http://www.banthebottle.net/articles/think-reusable-bottles-forget-plastic-bottled-water/

http://www.kleankanteen.com/pages/why-klean

http://www.ehow.com/how_8597192_personalize-aluminum-sports-bottles.html

by Amber Speciale, photographer & videographer

A Taste of the Philippines

adoboFilipino food is probably something you’ve never heard of, let alone tried. Luckily for me, growing up as a Filipino-American, I was able to enjoy many Filipino dishes. Filipino food has traces of Spanish and Chinese food, but ultimately has its own island feel that can only be attributed to the Philippines. The Philippines are made up of more than 7,100 islands, so the ocean has a heavy influence on the cuisine, not only with the inclusion of fish and shellfish, but also ingredients such as shrimp paste. However Filipino food is not limited to seafood, but pork, chicken and beef are also common ingredients. The food of the Philippines is full of variety, but rice is the one constant ingredient and is usually served on the side. Filipinos care a lot about food, and all meals are made “family style” to be shared with others. If you visit a Filipino’s home you can be sure you will not leave hungry.

Despite Filipinos being the second largest Asian group in the United States, Filipino cuisine has not become as mainstream as Chinese, Japanese or Vietnamese. However, you may have seen it on shows such as Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.

As someone that loves to cook I’ve spent a lot of time working on my Filipino dishes, specifically trying to recreate the delicious meals made by my family members. Filipino cooking is not an exact science, and everyone has their own way of preparing, cooking and eating Filipino food. It is about creativity, and finding the flavors that you love.

To have your own taste of the Philippines, here is my recipe for Adobo Baboy for you to try. Adobo Baboy is one of the most common dishes in the Philippines, made of meat stewed in garlic, vinegar, pepper and soy sauce.  Feel free to follow this relatively simple recipe to the letter, or change it up to make it your own. Most importantly, make sure you invite some friends and family to share it with!

Adobo Baboy

2 pounds    Boneless pork spareribs, 1 inch, cubed

7 pieces    Garlic, crushed

2         Bay leaves

½ tablespoon     Peppercorn, crushed

6 tablespoon     Soy sauce

6 tablespoon     Vinegar

1 cup         Water

¼ teaspoon    Vegetable oil

  1. In a medium-sized pot heat oil over medium heat
  2. Add pork ribs and crushed garlic. Stir constantly until meat is browned.
  3. When pork ribs are browned add soy sauce, water, peppercorns and bay leaves and bring to a boil
  4. Lower heat to medium/low and simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Serve with steamed rice

by Jason Balangue, graphic designer

PR FAUX PAS! a Reminder & Laugh

First and foremost, honesty is considered the golden rule of public relations. As we further progress into the art of PR, we remind ourselves that we’re on the outside looking in. Be honest, who doesn’t love a good PR disaster?

We’ve seen these disasters trending on Twitter, being solved by Olivia Pope on Scandal or posted on PR Daily. Perhaps the only ones not enjoying them are the poor agencies in charge of cleaning them up.

At the end of the day, anyone is capable of making mistakes. Unfortunately in some of these PR cases, it’s often huge ones. Luckily social media provides a platform for them to be front and center. Pull out your smart phones and swipe away.
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1. DiGiorno Pizza
It is very important that you research the hashtags you plan on using. DiGiorno Pizza learned the hard way after it failed to do its research on a specific hashtag. The tag #WhyIStayed extended from the various users on Twitter who were victims of domestic violence.

Unaware of the meaning, DiGiorno co-opted the hashtag and turned it into self-promotion. The damage could have been easily avoided had they done any research on the subject matter.

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2. Susan Boyle
The PR team of worldwide pop music sensation Susan Boyle made a simple mistake. During a Twitter campaign for the singer, no one on her team noticed that the hashtag #susanalbumparty also spelled something a bit racier than it intended to.

After catching the mistake, they rushed to change it to #SusanBoylesAlbumParty but the damage had grown to catastrophic measures. Beware of what your hashtag says.
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3. American Apparel
There’s nothing more exciting than an online sale. As soon as those sale signs hit my smartphone screen, I pull out my credit card. But never in a million years would I imagine that a company would take advantage of a natural disaster to promote a few crop tops and spandex shorts. American Apparel has a history of inappropriate behavior.

Leave it to American Apparel to launch a Hurricane Sandy sale. Perhaps the worst parts was to stoop so low as to use the hashtag #sandysale. Unfortunately, I have a friend who lost his home during that disaster. It was a devastating time, and i don’t think a pair of tight gym shorts is going to cover the pain.

By Angel Huracha, social media assistant

Seven Ways to Improve Your Writing

We’ve all heard it — that one person in class who says, “I can’t wait until I’m done with school, so I’ll never have to write another paper again,” and then we don’t know if we should give them a hug or knock some sense into them, but either way they’re in for a rude awakening.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news for those poor souls, but everybody writes. Whether you find yourself writing a press release, business plan, research paper, blog post or even a tweet, writing is something you just can’t avoid in the professional world.

Some people dread writing while others love it, and even the ones who love it sometimes do whatever they can to put it off. Whichever category you fall under, I’ve found a few ways to help improve your writing:

1. Create a routine

Like a basketball player going to the free throw line, find a routine that makes you feel comfortable and puts you in the zone. Maybe you need music playing in the background or your favorite mug filled with coffee to get you in the writing mood. Or maybe you need to take your shoes off or do a couple jumping jacks first. Do what works for you — nobody’s judging.

2.   Get your creativity flowing

It’s pretty hard to sit down and be able to bust out a good piece of writing at any time of the day. Make yourself a creative space to inspire you or do some writing exercises to warm up your brain.
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3.   Just keep writing

I once had an elementary school teacher tell me, “You’re not a writer unless you write.” I, of course, thought she was crazy. Of course writing makes you a writer — it’s in the name. But the more I write, the more that phrase makes sense to me.

You can love writing as much as you want, but unless you actually write, you’re not actually a writer. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike you, because that doesn’t happen as often as it should. Give yourself a set time to write every day, and you’ll see your writing improve. It doesn’t matter what you write, just keep writing.

4.   Embrace the ugly

I’m a firm believer in the ugly first draft. In fact, I love my first drafts. I quickly throw everything I’m thinking onto the page, and then when I look back at what I wrote I’m often inspired to go in a different direction. Just because you wrote something you liked the first time around, it doesn’t mean you have to keep it, which leads me to the next tip.

5.   Be a ruthless rewriter

Love one line that you wrote in your first draft, but it doesn’t fit with everything else? Get rid of it. It’s hard, but sometimes necessary.

6.    Share your work with a friend

I’m my own worst critic, and I never feel like anything I write is ready for anyone but me to see. This has been one of my hardest habits to kick, but easily the most important one for me to change. How can you expect to improve if you don’t get any feedback while you’re writing? Find someone you trust — who isn’t your editor — to give you their honest opinions and suggestions for change.

7.   Proofread, proofread, proofread

A quick way to alienate your editor is to turn in work that you obviously didn’t reread before you sent in. Save everyone some time — and grief — and proofread your own work. It will give you a sharper eye for your mistakes, and it also gives you a chance to make any last minute changes.

By Corey Bruecker, account executive