Compelling personal brands are not just for those of us with post-graduate work experience under our belt. Everyone has a personal brand – no matter how old you are – and others in your network are assigning you value based on what they believe your brand to be.
For someone fresh out of college, the idea of creating a personal brand that gets them noticed, sets them apart from competitors and defines their value in the market place can seem overwhelming.
Here are some tips for recent college graduates looking to build a meaningful personal brand and land that dream job:
- Focus on what makes you unique. What do you do well?
Do you have good people skills? Are you outgoing and friendly? Or, is research and analysis your strong suit? Articulate what you believe you are good at, and be as specific as possible.
- Think about what you are passionate about.
Do you love to work outside and the thought of a desk job repulses you? Are you a people-person or would you rather be by yourself? What are your passions – Sports? Government? Research? Social Media? Use your passions to guide you into the job world.
- Leverage the job/work experience you do have.
While you may have limited work experience, think about the roles and responsibilities you have earned. Did you do an internship that you can speak to? How about a committee or club in college? Take the skills, talents and responsibilities you held in those situations and speak to them just like you would if they were a paid job.
- Create an intentional network
Leverage your network to land a job. Write down the names of professors you worked closely with, students you got along well with (who will land jobs), colleagues and mentors you met during your internships or community work. Stay in touch with your network and let them know what you are looking for.
- Clean up your online presence
If your social media activity got a bit silly and crazy during college, clean it up now. Remove posts and photos that a potential employer might not find appealing. Post and comment on posts that reflect your interests and career passions and start building your online brand today.
- Use social media to your advantage
Social media offers many tools for the job seeker. See who you are connected to in your network, research companies you’d like to work for, research hiring managers so you can build rapport when you meet them, and learn about the industries you’re attracted to. Research online is plentiful and available. Use it.
- Learn from others
The friends of yours that are getting jobs can be a great resource to you. What did they do to stand apart? How did they network into the position? Learn from your friends and from people who are currently in jobs you desire. What does it take to be successful in that job/industry/field?
- Become mindful and intentional
Become your own marketing agent. Start observing everything you do – from your image to your spelling to your social media activity. If you were a hiring manager at your dream job, would you hire you? Make sure you are always intentional about how you represent your brand.
- Create your image
Depending on the industry you are pursuing, create a style and image that works for you. Always strive for appropriate (the days of wearing cut off jeans to an office are gone). That said, if you feel more confident in bright colors, or you prefer more tailored clothing, seek consistency in an image that creates the impression of what you like and value.
- Talk to your parents
Your parents have been where you are. They have been young people seeking to make their mark in the world. Talk to your parents or older audiences about what they did, how it worked, and learn what might be relevant and helpful in your search.
Today’s college graduate has a tough road ahead. Jobs are scarce and competition is fierce. The greatest advantage one can have is to own and live a unique personal brand that defines your value and relevancy to the marketplace.
As counsel and reputation management expert to international corporations, senior executives, CEOs and business leaders, Lida Citroën launched LIDA360, a reputation management firm, to devise corporate marketing strategies and personal branding processes that drive results. Her programs continuously and intuitively revolve — and evolve — around client business objectives while positioning companies and executives to outshine their competitors.
As an accomplished professional speaker on personal branding and reputation management, her programs, “Stand Out from the Crowd: Leveraging Your Personal Brand” and “Personal Branding & Reputation Management Online” generate rave reviews.
The author of the best-selling guide to reputation management, “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding,” (Palisades Publishing, 2011) Lida delivers speaking programs, consulting and coaching on:
– Reputation Management for Executives
– Reputation Management for Professionals
– Reputation Management for Non-Profits
– Personal Branding for Today’s Executives
– Personal Branding & Reputation Management with Social Media
For more information, visit www.LIDA360.com or call 800.314.5060.