How to Brand Yourself

sara

By: Sara Thurber, Account Associate for the American Indian Powwow

~How to maximize your full potential in five relatively easy steps~

As a soon to be graduate (yikes), I’ve been to my fair share of interviews and spoken with a large handful of successful people, and I’ve perfected a firm handshake, good eye-contact, professional attire, and have created what I think is a killer resume. Yet, my resume looks almost identical to the person sitting to my right, and it can be just the flip of a coin on who will get that job we’re both dying to get… or is it?

In the communications field, we are taught about the importance of branding, and the connection it creates between the product and the consumer. In a world consumed by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and various other forms of social media, we now have the ability to connect ourselves and build relationships worldwide – all from behind a computer screen. Social media has become second nature to most of us, so why not use that to our advantage?

Like the importance of the bubbly and sweetness of Coca-cola guaranteed with every sip, you should adapt the same type of idea for yourself. By branding yourself you are hoping to create a lasting impression on a future employer, or client. When it comes to branding, the possibilities are endless, and it can all be done in five relatively easy steps.

Step 1: Map out your goals: As a college senior, it should be pretty clear to me by now what I would like to do with my future. Even though I still have no idea what career I want, I do have a general direction I would like to go. Having a direction that relates to your passions is always a great start!

Ex. If you like music and events, a great goal may be to work in the music industry as an Events Coordinator.  

Step 2: Make a game plan: How do other people perceive you? Hopefully as a hardworking college student who is ready for a career! If that’s not the case don’t worry – that’s where the game plan comes into action. Define how you want people to perceive you and work towards that! A great way to get started is by making your social media accounts professional. If that’s too hard, create a professional one separate from any personal accounts. Talk about things that interest you, retweet topics that are important to your values, and create a presence you would want people to see.

Step 3: Unique you, unique website: Create a website that defines who you are as a professional, and showcases your interests and work. This is a way to step up your game, and can even be added to the bottom of your resume to make it less generic. A website shows you are professional and professional presence is important on all levels.

Step 4: Network in person: While creating an online presence that shows who you are is super important, it’s also important to create face to face connections. What you are putting up online should 100% reflect who you really are and what makes you, you! Show that off every chance you get and try to create a connection that makes a future employer want to come back for more.

Step 5: Manage your brand: Your passions should be the driving force behind your brand, so it shouldn’t be too hard to keep it in sync with your values. Just make sure to steer clear of having a mismatched brand by conveying different values across your online and in person presence.

If your searching for an internship, looking for a career or just want a part-time job around campus, you need to create a personal brand. Knowing who you are and what matters to you is all part of branding yourself for the world to see.

Go conquer your next career fair now that you’re all branded!

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