Personal Branding for Recent Grads

Blog, Personal Branding / Personal Branding / November 30, 2016

Personal Branding for Recent Grads

PERSONAL BRANDING FOR RECENT GRADS

Do Recent Grads Have A Personal Brand?

The short answer is, Yes! You may not have a lot of work experience around your belt yet, but you certainly have developed a reputation in your time as an adult in the world. You move through the world in a certain way. You have your own unique set of skills and strengths. You have passions and you are driven by specific values.

So your question might be, how do I stand out without work experience to feature? First of all every bit of work experience that you have can be highlighted. It doesn’t have to be a top-line job. But even more importantly, you have personal attributes, skills and qualifications that you excel at and love doing. Combined with your strengths, values and passions, you offer a unique promise of value to your target employer. This exceptional value is your personal brand.

Defining Your Personal Brand in Four Steps

What is the process of defining your personal brand if you are a recent grad? It is the same process as someone who has 20 years of experience.

  1. Ask people who have experienced you in a meaningful way to give you feedback about who you are as a person, as a worker and even as a student. This means connecting with your classmates, professors, supervisors, mentors, people you’ve known for a long time, people you have volunteered with or worked on school projects, et cetera. This is how you will develop your promise of value. Often it is much easier to understand your own value by seeing it through the eyes of others who experience the uniqueness that is you.
  2. Ask these same people specifically what they think your best qualities are and what they feel they can rely on you for. These specific characteristics can be used in creating your brand motto.
  3. Work on identifying what qualities that you have that make you stand out from the crowd. When you are low on work experience, but high on value, standing for something that will resonate with your employer is paramount. What do you stand for and how are you communicating this to the hiring manager for your dream job? A highlighted blog post is a great way to feature yourself as a thought leader on a topic of interest to both you and your potential employer.
  4. Now it’s time to identify how you are a good fit for your dream job. Look through job descriptions and company websites to determine how to form the language and keywords that your dream job hiring manager will be searching and will identify with. It is essential that your personal brand be aligned with the goals of the company and more specifically the demands of the position you are looking to fill. The hiring manager needs to see instantly how you are a good fit for them.

The personal brand that you create for your resume, cover letter and online presence including a branded personal website, blog and social media should align the needs of your dream job with your qualifications and unique value.

The Good News

Everybody has a personal brand regardless of how many years of work experience they have. The challenge is to create an online and offline personal brand that is defined by you to specifically meet the goal of landing your dream job. This requires some work to uncover what is unique about you and how you can identify yourself with the needs of the job you are seeking. Remember getting into the door is the hardest part. Creating a strong personal brand that is consistent across your resume, cover letter, branded website, blog and social media is an exciting and highly effective way to land an interview and create a reputation that precedes you into the interview. The impression your personal brand makes will carry over into the interview with topics that you can discuss and stories that you can tell in the interview.

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Amanda Houck is the chief brand designer for AUTHENTIC SOCIALL, a personal branding agency specializing in creating an exceptional online presence for individuals looking to land their dream job. Amanda loves to explore concepts and ideas with individuals on their job search and is always open to a complimentary idea session. If you are interested, contact Amanda at amanda@authenticsociall.com.

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