Over the last few years, I developed a news website called News Reborn where I wrote news stories and blogs surrounding current newsworthy events. In this time, I had a series of journalism and media arts students work with me in creating some amazing content while in the process learning a tremendous amount about working in a news environment. This varied from discovering SEO and HTML coding, to practicing my writing for an audience using analytics to determine what was working and what wasn’t. My time with News Reborn had been incredible, but all good things must come to an end and even though I loved the brand I built, my time with it had expired.
As I finished up my life as a student at UniSA (edit: for the time being) and moved more professionally into the wonderful world of journalism, I discovered I needed to start branding myself and showing employers my work. The authority News Reborn gave me as a freelance journalist opened doors, giving me more opportunities such as access to restricted sites and obtaining prominent interviews. It also allowed me to develop my skills by growing a team and helping other students publish work, some of whom were not as technology savvy or entrepreneurial as I was. It did heaps for me and taught me a lot in the process.
As a journalist, you are selling yourself just as much as you are selling your work. It is immensely important you position your product (a.k.a yourself) in a controlled environment that you, in fact, control. When employers are looking at hiring someone, they do not want to dig around the web looking for your content; they want it handed to them.
To achieve a more personal approach in my self-branding, I’ve started a website under my own name on WordPress.com. Here I will maintain a blog about my career and journey into journalism, thus establishing a personal angle to my product, and provide links to articles I have published on other websites using a portfolio page with child pages. I also use LinkedIn to do most of this as well as it puts my writing and experience directly into the feeds of people who can help me the most with my career. WordPress, on the other hand, allows me to control the process of crafting an interactive rësüme and portfolio with more depth while also showing off my skills with new technology, and tell my own story.
The world is changing so rapidly around us, and it is so important to keep up if you are building a career in the 21st century. I have used this approach in crafting a profile for myself as employers now investigate your online persona just as much as your professional one. WordPress is a fantastic platform for crafting this kind of thing but not enough people embrace it, giving you an edge in such a competitive industry. Even though this is a very personal post, thus I explore how I am doing things, I hope you can find a little bit of inspiration in your digital setup. I am by no means saying this is the only way things could work for you, but I am explaining the logic behind why I am doing things this way. This is just my thought process.
A new chapter in my education and career has just begun. As I graduate, getting a parchment with the words ‘Bachelor of Journalism’ plastered over it, my quest into this amazing transformative industry and my understanding of what it has to offer me has only just begun. With nearly five years of study under my belt, my experiences in newsrooms and TV studios has taught me so much, hinting at the fact my knowledge of journalism can only grow. I need to show off my skills as they continue to develop and prove to employers that I am ready for an industry that is transforming so rapidly. They say you only start learning what it takes once you leave university, and I think they might be onto something.