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Personal Branding Tips for College Students

Your experience crafting your personal brand can begin right out of college, or even before. You may find that these tips help you bypass some stress and head straight for success.

Once upon a time, young people in the United States who went to college had their futures mapped out for them before they even graduated. The hard work was getting into college (and paying for it); after the degree was earned, a career pretty easily fell into place. Those days are gone.

Today, recent college graduates face competition from other college grads with experience, noncollege grads with experience, and older people in the workforce. Therefore, it's crucial to figure out what makes you unique when you’re first entering the workforce.

You may ask, “How will I look unique when I am an average student with a business major from an average school?” Well, now is where you need to employ the principles of personal branding to help you stand out and stand for something. Here are some places to look to find your uniqueness:

  • Internships you had in college

  • Travel experiences, both foreign and domestic

  • The network of people that you know, including your parents’ friends, your friends’ parents, past employers, coaches, and other adults who know you well

  • Languages you speak

  • Special projects you’ve done that you’re proud of

  • Your attire and self-presentation at your interviews

  • Your social and communication skills

After you identify unique qualities, don’t hide them or assume that they aren’t important. Make sure that these qualities are prominent in your resume and that you highlight them in interviews.

Build your confidence by having meaningful conversations with people during informational interviews. Set a goal of meeting with at least three people who are willing to talk to you about the work they do and ask you about your interests. Each time you talk about your brand, you’re building it. Own your uniqueness, and you’ll find the right place where it will be appreciated.

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