How Building Your Personal Brand Can Help You Get a Job Before Graduating

How Building Your Personal Brand Can Help You Get a Job Before GraduatingIn the fluid market of buying and selling, everything is for sale, including you! 

Wait, Not So Fast! 

You may not want to look at it that way, but if you adjust your thinking as a business owner whose looking to hire an employee to help his or her business along, you must realize the salary that employer is willing to pay for an employee is for an exchange for a service. As an employer, salaries are a large expense to any expense budget, so if that business is going to hire someone, that hiring manager is going to make sure whomever they hire is the right person for the job. 

Sizing Up Your Competition 

Turning this around, as a new college graduate, you need to take these things into consideration when looking for a job. Consider this: How many of your classmates are graduating with you this year? What’s more, how many of them are majoring in the same subject as you? This is just some of your competition. This doesn’t count the employees who are looking to get promoted in their company, not to mention the other colleges and universities—brick and mortar as well as online graduates who have now entered the job-searching pool. 

Your competition is no longer limited to regional locations thanks to the Internet. You could be up against applicants from all over the world.

What You Need to Realize as a Job Seeker 

What that means for you as a brand new graduate and job seeker is that you now have to be creative in how you present yourself as a job applicant. In a sense, you are selling yourself. And what do entrepreneurs do when they’re trying to sell something? They create a type of branding for their product.

As an applicant, respectfully, you need to think of yourself as a kind of a product that will stand out above the rest of the applicants who are applying for the same position as you. But, first you need to put yourself back into your potential employer’s shoes. 

Think Like a Hiring Manager 

As an employer, you have resumes accompanied with cover letters coming in through the mail, your company website, and through any other kind of job-seeking platform. In short, you have hundreds upon hundreds of resumes that you have to review just to see who is eligible to come in for an interview. If you have a stack of resumes you have to review, which ones do you think will be the ones that will stand out to you as an employer? 

Thinking Like a Strategic Job Seeker 

As a job seeker, you have to build your personal brand. You have to present yourself in a way that is strong, believable, trustworthy, and most importantly, consistent. Now, of course, you won’t be able to convey this all on your resume, but this is where you’ll definitely start. This is because your employer will review your resume first and if he or she likes what the see, then he or she will most likely conduct an online search. This is where you have the opportunity to create your brand. 

How to Create Your Personal Brand 

First, start with your online portfolio. This is going to include your personal website and LinkedIn profile. These two things need to include on your resume. But before we get into managing your online presence, let’s talk about how to present your resume. 

Design an Attractive Resume 

Your resume is simply an outline that lists all of your professional jobs and achievements. You don’t want it to be too long and you definitely don’t want it to be too short. What you do want is for it to be visually appealing without being too busy, and you also want to make sure that it’s legible. You can download templates of resumes or you can get creative and make one up through InDesign where it’s presented in an eye-catching publication.

Creating an Online Presence 

  • First, Get it Under Control 

You may not know it, but if you have a social media account of any kind, you already have an online presence, especially if your account is set up for public viewing. All of those social media accounts where you posted pictures of yourself having fun may be frowned upon by employers who are considering you for a job. So it’s highly recommended to set your social media profiles to private. You also might want to review who your online “friends” are. What you share with your social media circle can still be shared if someone viewed from your “friends’” account. 

  • Organize Your Professional Profile 

Now it’s time to create or update your professional online presence. The easiest thing you can do is set up a LinkedIn profile. If you already have a LinkedIn profile, then it’s time to update it, especially if you’re looking for a job. Your LinkedIn profile should mimic your resume and even elaborate on it. LinkedIn is set up so that you can embed hyperlinks and video to your profile. This is a great way to build a dynamic portfolio that gives job hunters another way of seeing who you are, what you’ve accomplished and what you can do for their company. You can also provide a link to your professional website. 

  • Setting Up a Personal Website 

Having a professional website is another way to present an online portfolio. Here, you have a little bit more liberty to be as creative as you want. With LinkedIn, you have to follow a platform that will essentially look like everyone else’s, but with your professional website, you have the opportunity to really show potential employers what you’re all about. 

To Recap: 

So your resume, LinkedIn profile and professional website should all have the same feel and presentation, and your more social profiles should be set to private. Even though you maybe limited with LinkedIn, the content should all match so that employers will know without a doubt that they are searching the right content. This is especially crucial for applicants with common names. By staying consistent in how you present your resume and presenting yourself online, you will have created your own personal brand. 

Florida National University (FNU) is dedicated to helping all of our students succeed. We do this by supplying them with the information and tools they’ll need to land the job of their dreams. Contact an FNU advisor today for information about how you can better prepare for your future.

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