On The Job Hunt? 14 Personal Branding Tips For Recent College Graduates

1. Demonstrate How You Live Your Core Values

A personal brand is much like a corporate brand. Both have to have a strong set of core values. College graduates should be able to discuss their core values and demonstrate how they live those core values through their personal experience. Of course, it does help if a grad’s core values are in line with what employers want: curiosity, collaboration, empathy and so on. - Roger Hurni, Off Madison Ave

2. Be Genuine And Don’t Try To Oversell

Besides all of the relevant pieces of advice on building your social media profiles, I would add that you’ve also got to make sure they truly reflect who you are and the value you can provide. Don’t try to oversell, but don’t undersell. Don’t cover gaps; work on them! Show who you are and why. Be genuine. That will make you seem more trustworthy than many others. - Jordi Marca, Gotoclient

3. Build A Purpose-Driven Personal Brand

Purpose-driven brands are more meaningful in the world, and that is true whether you are selling a product or interviewing for a job. Start with your key beliefs and values. Look for the opportunities that give you the most energy and excite you the most. Convey to employers that your career is an extension of your passion and curiosity. I can train people for anything else, but not that. - Sue Manber, Publicis Health

4. Be Different And Let Your Creativity Shine

Most of the résumés I receive look the same. If you are interested in the agency space, whether digital, direct or general, you must let your personality and creativity show. Focus on specific strengths and projects you’ve worked on. Tell a story that weaves in your strengths, such as a breakthrough idea you’ve had or how you solved a difficult problem for a teacher or a customer. - David Hadaway, Altair Data Resources

5. Showcase Your Relevance In The Area

Figure out what you “think” you want to do, then package yourself around relevance in that area. Everything on your résumé must speak to why your skills and experiences are relevant to the role. Sometimes, it’s difficult to let go of an irrelevant accomplishment, but it shouldn’t be a stretch. If so, lose it. Beyond the résumé, your relevance will also come through in the Zoom interview. Put thought into your background. Look the part. - Dean Trevelino, Trevelino/Keller

6. Craft A Mission Statement For Your Career

Make sure your personal brand is deeper than surface-level interests and experience. While it may evolve over time, try to craft a mission statement that you would like your career to follow. This, combined with a smart content strategy and use of social media, will create a great personal brand. - Greg Kihlstrom, The Agile World

7. Make Sure Your Online Reputation Is In The Clear

If it’s hard to find you online because you have a common name, invest in an SEO campaign revolving around you, or brand yourself with an easier-to-rank alias. Then, get published. Use your recent educational achievement as a campaign platform for press. You can easily brand yourself by making the right media connections and acting as a source. - Logan Rae, Argon Agency

8. Develop An ‘Elevator Pitch’ About Your Career Goals

Spend some time developing a 30-second “elevator pitch” about yourself and your career goals. Your introduction should be interesting, understandable and concise. Include your strengths, interests and the job and/or field you are interested in. Be memorable and prepared to share your contact information. - Brett Hyman, NVE Experience Agency

9. Have A Way To Present Examples Of Your Work

Personal branding is great, but for most roles, particularly during the hiring or scouting process, actually showing your work is going to be a lot more valuable. Develop a portfolio, make a website with work from your college experience or do whatever makes sense for your field. Be sure to incorporate your personal brand into that work for a greater impact. - Dmitrii Kustov, Regex SEO

10. Aim To Make Your Brand Personal, Not ‘Right’

Make sure your social media profiles are either professional or private. If you have been curating your personal brand, this had better be prominent in your public social profiles. Furthermore, make your personal brand personal! The world is full of copycats and brand imitators. Don’t feel pressure to make yours “right.” Make it authentic, make it honest and make it yours. 

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