This post, Sharpen Your Digital Fluency to Win the Job, is another in our series providing insight and action steps for those seeking a career in branding. Julie Cottineau gives her top tips and shares insights from her 25+ years at great companies such as Grey, Interbrand and Virgin. You can read more entries in this Career series HERE

Whether you are a raving fan of Facebook – or a hater – it doesn’t really matter.

Part of the appeal of hiring someone in their 20’s is that the hiring manager (often someone in their 40’s or 50’s) believes that you are a Digital Native and that you will help them decipher Instagram from Pinterest and everything in between.

I meet marketing students all the time who say, “I’m not really that into social media.” Well here’s my advice… Get into it. Fast.

If you are interested in branding or marketing, you need to be fluent in Social Media. Not as someone posting vacation pics and snaps of wild karaoke nights – but as someone who understands and appreciates the power of social media to connect with people, create dialogue and build brands.

The latest “hot” social channel may fluctuate or evolve over time (personally I think there is a whole generation of tweens who are going to be more loyal to Instagram then Facebook) but two-way relationships – engagement marketing – are here to stay. And you need to know your Tumblr from your Twitter and how to use it for brands you will be helping to build.

So what’s a budding brander to do? Does this mean you have to become an uber blogger or tweet 24/7? No, but you do need to be able to demonstrate digital fluency:

  • Be prepared in interviews to talk about what brands and branding experts you follow on Twitter.
  • Reach out to experts and agencies through their blogs/twitter accounts. Leave positive, insightful comments. These budding relationships could  help you down the road in your job search.
  • Make sure you have a professional presence on the major social media such as Linkedin and Twitter, and make sure your profiles are up-to-date
  • If you have a Linkedin or Twitter profile, make sure you include a professional, friendly picture. None of those grey portrait outlines or generic blue eggs. They communicate that you are not really committed.
  • And think about starting a blog or a twitter account dedicated to branding, marketing, and/or creativity. No one but your mom may read it at first, but it you post or tweet fairly frequently, it will eventually come up when prospective employers Google your name – and it will show that you are serious about the field.

Want to start increasing your visibility right away? Apply to be a guest blogger for BrandTwist. We’re always looking for great student and guest authors for our blog. Interested? Just send a brief synopsis of your blog idea along with a sample paragraph to and we will contact you within one week to let you know if your blog idea has been accepted for further development.

BrandTwist does not pay for guest blog content, but we will provide you with a byline that includes your bio and contact details. This is a great platform to reach other people who are passionate about brand. Who knows… maybe your future employer will see your blog post and call you for an interview!

Hone your skills. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding course, will give you the tools you need to develop your branding skills. Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

Please also check us out on Twitter and Facebook for more insight and discussion on branding.

“Brand School helped me get clear on my messaging and my brand. Now my clients know exactly what it is I bring to my classes.” – Josh Pais, Actor and Founder of Committed Impulse, creativity workshop
Previous articleSix Brand-tastic Ideas for Father’s Day
Next articleDraw Your Target In To Explore Your Brand
Julie is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands.


  1. Great tips! As a recent college graduate seeking a career in marketing, this is exactly the information I am looking for. I know the use of social media in one’s personal life versus work life are becoming interchangeable. I was wondering if you had advice on differentiating the two… would you advise one to use two different accounts in social media, one for work and one for personal reasons, potentially risking a divide in your followers, or modify your personal accounts to be professional, as well?

    • Kathyrn, congratulations on your recent graduation. That’s a great question, and there is no single right way to manage your personal and professional profiles. There are definitely advantages of keeping two separate profiles, one for friends and one that can be more professional. But it also requires more time management- something that a lot of people (particularly recent grads) are often short on. In my own case, I have two different Facebook profiles – one personal and one for BrandTwist. I find that Facebook is the most efficient way to keep in touch with old and current friends so I want to have a personal presence there. But even on my personal pages I am careful not to say or show anything that I wouldn’t want a potential client to see. On the other hand, I use Twitter uniquely for my profession. Having said that, it is still important to imbue a bit of your own personality into even professional accounts so you don’t come across as too robotic. You should also remember that nothing is really private on the web, no matter what kinds of controls you put in place. So make sure that anything you really want kept private between you in your friends, you send in a text- or better yet in an old fashioned face to face conversation. Thanks for commenting.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here