Looking for a job can be stressful, time-consuming, and frustrating. How do you set yourself apart from other candidates competing for the same job? It’s simple, build your personal brand. When I first started college my resume was a joke. I had a few of my part time jobs listed on it, and the few awards I won while in high school. I have developed my resume over the past 4 years in college, and am still continuing to work on it. I am currently working at my second internship, and hope to have another internship in June after I graduate. My first internship was not paid but I learned a lot and really enjoyed the experience. I interned at Clear Channel, working with 4 different radio stations in the Eugene area. My title was a promotions intern. I learned a lot about how the stations operate, and how different groups within the station work together.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get an internship as a younger student, but you can still work on building your personal brand. Over the past few weeks in my advanced PR writing class I have learned a lot about social networks. Create your own Twitter account, join LinkedIn, set up your Facebook in a professional manner, and create your own blog. All of these things will show you up when someone “googles you,” and that looks very good to employers.
All of these things set you apart from other people applying for the same job.
Dan Schawbel, the author of Me 2.0: Build A Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success listed the top 5 personal branding tips for recent graduates in his blog:
1. Go through your network strength pyramid.
– Family is your strongest network followed by friends, and then acquaintances. Being aware of your personal networks can save you some trouble when submitting your resume to employers. Be aware of you you know and do not be afraid to use these netoworks.
2. Change your mindset.
– Working conditions are rough right now. Think of yourself as the CEO of your own brand, and learn to market that brand. The economy is working agaisnt us right now, and in a way, we have to create our own jobs. Be the commander of your career. Schawbel writes, “Forget about getting a job title; make your own job title.”
3. Collect everything you’ve already done and put it to work.
– Organize everything you do in your classes and in your internships. Something you have done might apply to your future job and you can use that in an interview to better market your skills.
4. Are you an entrepeneur or a corporate employee?
– This will help you make the decision of what to do after graduation. If you are an entrepeneur you can work on creating your own business, but if you are a corporate employee graduate school might be a good decision, or an internship at an agency with the goals of moving up on the ladder.
5. Use social media to build personal equity.
– This has to do with what I talked about earlier. Start a blog, and talk about new ideas and thoughts. Create a twitter account, and follow people that are of interest to you. Link to other people and form relationships with social media.
Image: Nirav Mehta