Personal branding tips for students
Whether you like it or not, in today’s market you need to think of yourself as a “product”. Employers follow this principle, thus if you want to land that dream job of yours you should follow it as well.
When an employer screens job applicants, they will check out their pros and cons in the same way you, as a consumer, evaluate the pros and cons of a luxurious product for which you intend to spend a heck of alot of money. So, if you want to be a successful product, you need successful branding. That means that you need to highlight, strengthen, and market your skills as well as pros to brand yourself as the ‘perfect’ job candidate.
Thus, my goal through this blog post is to help you understand what is personal branding and how you can use it to build and establish your digital reputation.
What is Personal branding and how can it help me as a job candidate?
Just think about your personal branding as the way you present yourself to others. Your brand identity is all the qualities that make you different and unique. Personal branding can be super useful to you as a student searching for a job, because it helps you stand out from the crowd and make a memorable and positive impression.
Below I have mentioned some very important questions you need to ask yourself to gather the most relevant information, which will be the core of your personal branding.
1. What are your skills and your unique selling points?
Think about all your skills that can be used to strengthen your personal brand. Ask yourself:
- What are you really good at and what are you best at?
- Which is your unique skill that makes you stand out among other job applicants? This is your unique selling point (USP).
2. What are your personal and professional experiences that can be used to strengthen your personal brand
Do a flashback of your career so far and write down all your experience that could benefit your personal brand. Ask yourself:
- Do you have any professional experience?
- Do you have any volunteer experience?
- Have you ever won any award?
- Do you have any published articles, studies, conference presentations, or other work?
- Did you graduate from a prestigious university?
- Did you graduate with Honors?
3. What are your values?
Your values are the operating principles that give meaning to your life and your being. Identify your core values and then prioritise them according to their importance.
4. What are your passions?
We all have personal but also professional passions. Ask yourself:
- What do I love doing on my free time?
- What are the topics that I can talk endlessly?
- Which are the activities am I passionate about?
5. What is your current reputation / what are your benefits comparing to other students searching for the same jobs?
Think about your talents that differentiate you from the rest of the people. Ask yourself:
- Is there something that I do better than anyone else?
- What skills do people mostly notice in me?
Did you find your number 1 talent? Now think how to emphasize the added value you can bring to the company because of your talent.
6. Who do you want to reach?
Now you need to think of your ideal job. Ask yourself:
- Which are the companies you need to reach out?
Search for job vacancies regarding the exact role that you are aiming for, so that you see what type of skills and experience they require. Then match your own skills, experiences, values and passions to the job requirements.
After answering the above questions you need to come up with your elevator pitch. This is an intro of 150 characters (spoken approx. 30 seconds) about yourself that you be used whenever you need to introduce yourself to a business contact.
Now you can start building your own personal brand!
Manolis Zografakis, Creative Strategist, Digital Marketing Consultant and founder of London's survival guide, Broke in London.