Source: Spotlight Online for Career Services Professionals, September 29, 2010
During the recruiting process, employers look for a strong GPA and relevant experience in their student candidates. But they also look for a key differentiator--a students personal brand. And students who do not create their own brand are missing out on an opportunity, especially during a tight job market.
Personal branding is so important to students conducting their job searches because it can really help them stand out from other candidates, explains Kitsy Blanc, national recruiting brand and communications manager for PwC, a provider of industry-focused assurance, tax, and advisory services headquartered in Delaware. One of the common mistakes students make is not truly understanding what a personal brand is. It is an uncomfortable situation when a recruiter asks a student to tell her about himself and the interview comes to a halt.
To help students be thoughtful about themselves and be better able to express their experiences and accomplishments in the context of the job search, PwC has developed the Personal Brand Week program. Information, tips, and worksheets covering one aspect of personal branding are presented by day--Monday through Friday--and address elevator speeches, career passion, networking and mentoring, social media, and keeping momentum by being open to change and opportunities.
For example, in the materials that cover how to create elevator speeches, PwC offers students the following 10 tips to jump-start their branding efforts:
- Be authentic.
- Learn how to introduce yourself.
- Show your confidence.
- Develop the tools of the trade.
- Show your cards.
- Dress for success.
- Build a professional online image.
- Take a writing class.
- Ask for feedback.
- Reassess your personal brand regularly.
These tips are covered in-depth in PwCs Personal Brand Week materials and eBook, which are available for free through the PwC web site to students and alumni, and to career centers that want to use it as a resource for students. PwC does not require those interested in obtaining the materials to create an account or provide contact information.
We wanted to give students--especially freshmen and sophomores--something they can work on immediately, regardless of major or even if they have not yet selected a major, Blanc says. The personal brand is something students can develop from the beginning of their collegiate careers and is a key component of job-search success.