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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.