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  • Top 5 Personal Branding Tips for Recent Graduates

    I know a lot of graduates who are very concerned with their chances as nabbing a job when they graduate. I decided to write a post to help guide you to the promise land, give you a load of confidence and hope, as well as point you in the right direction. Getting a job after college can be a terrible and annoying process, but I’ve been there, so I know how it feels and I want to help you. This post is for you college students! 🙂

    This post also appears as a guest post on Gradspot.com.

    1. Go through your Network Strength Pyramid

    Networking is paramount for getting in-demand and desirable jobs throughout your career. It will also save you from months of labor intensive work submitting your resume to job boards and corporate websites. I developed the “Network Strength Pyramid” to show people that they need to start thinking of everyone they meet as a possible connection to a new opportunity.

    Your family is your strongest connection, followed by friends and then acquaintances sit at the bottom.

    When you have built rapport and a relationship, the chances someone would drop what they are doing to help you increases significantly. Most people won’t be compelled to go out of their way for you when you meet them for the first time.

    Make your life one big networking event!

    2. Change your mindset

    Recent grads must understand that working conditions are rough right now. There have been 1.9 million layoffs since January and the job growth rate for entry-level graduating seniors is only at 1.3%. This means you need to do things differently. If you follow the same advice you’ve ever gotten in the past, then you will only have results equal to that, and in this economy, that means failure.

    You need a “brand you” mindset to succeed, not just in acquiring a job, but keeping it and progressing in it. Think of yourself as the CEO of your own brand, much like Coca Cola and Nike. You get to name your colors, logo, and overall experience. How would you describe “brand you” to others?

    Forget about getting a job title; make your own job title.

    In a world where things are constantly changing, you need to be the commander of career, which means that at the end of the day, success lies in your hands!

    3. Collect everything you’ve already done and put it to work

    One of the sad parts of life is that people are obsessed with what you’ve done in the past. When I wanted to get a job, I leveraged every single project I did in the past as case studies for the future. For instance, I led a team to establish a business plan in college, created websites for companies and did cool projects in my internships at LoJack and Reebok. I was then able to use the results of the projects in a marketing pitch to get a job when I graduated.

    I know you might want to forget about the past, but trust me, it’s worthwhile to catalog everything you do, just in case something you’ve done applies to a future job.

    4. Are you an entrepreneur or a corporate employee?

    This is a very important question to ask yourself because it depicts what you’ll be doing upon graduation. If you’re an entrepreneur, you may be looking to start a business immediately, continue a business you started in college or work for a company, until what you’re doing outside of work takes off. If you want to be a corporate employee, then you will want to get a job when you graduate, and possibly go to graduate school, so you can move up into management as soon as possible.

    5. Use social media to build personal equity

    Having trouble networking, getting your ideas out there and claiming a piece of the digital world? Look no further than social media to provide a channel by which you can accomplish all three. I would recommend starting a blog that relates to both your passion and expertise.

    Next, I would ensure that you register your name on the top social networks and link from one to the next. Links build equity in your sites, leaving your sites ranking higher in Google, so people can find you. The reach of the internet using these tools is extraordinary and can help you connect with the right people at the right time.

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    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Articles, Career Development, eBrand, Networking, Personal Branding, Social Media, Success Strategies
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    7 comments on “Top 5 Personal Branding Tips for Recent Graduates
    1. avatar
      EXPERT

      This is great Dan. I will point both my newly graduated son and my daughter who us 2 years out of university to your advice. I don’t remember it being so hard to get on the career path when I was young(er) but maybe that is lost in the mists of time.

    2. avatar
      EXPERT
      Louisa says:

      What a great post! I work a recruiter in Boston for Hollister (www.hollisterstaff.com/?=451) and think this is some of the best advice I have seen for looking for a job in this market. I love your advice about using work form the past to your advantage by creating case studies out of it. What a great idea!

    3. avatar
      EXPERT
      Grace says:

      The power of networking and who you know, really can get you far. I’m speaking from personal experience and my friend’s who were recent graduates also found the same success. I also like that you added social media as the #5 tip to help “build personal equity.” There is validity in that phrase as the power of social media is vast. Thanks for the ideas, Dan.

    4. avatar
      EXPERT
      Lanie James says:

      This is a great blog Dan! I work for the Career Services office at Oklahoma State University and have shared your blog with our staff. Social Media doesn’t have to be a detriment to a college student’s career search. I love how you detail ways that students (and current professionals) to leverage it. Thanks!

    5. avatar
      EXPERT
      Erica DeWolf says:

      Great post, Dan, and thanks for targeting college students. When I graduated a year and a half a go, I had virtually no resources for “how to get a job,” not to mention that I didn’t even know what personal branding was. I’m sure you’re making a difference in many college students’ lives, giving them a leg up in this economy to get their name out there and land their dream job.

    6. avatar
      EXPERT
      Suraj says:

      Great post, completely agree with this. As a college student, I have been working hard to brand myself professionally. I try to keep my Facebook and Twitter conversations clean. I also recently met the founder of a new network called OneCubicle, and they are working on a social network to brand yourself professionally and meet industry leaders. their website is http://www.onecubicle.com.

    7. avatar
      EXPERT

      Hi Dan,
      Thanks so much for all of your inspiring work. i am a brand planner specializing in corporate brand imaging and your articles are a great reminder that I should apply my branding strategies not only to my clients but to myself as well. Your words give me fuel to keep on learning in this online world. Thanks!

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