It’s amazing how much can change in so little time. When I entered college in 2010 as a Strategic Communications major there was close to little talk about Personal Branding, but when I graduated in 2014, it was a necessity if you wanted to be picked from a litter of applicants.
Now, two years after I’ve graduated, I still wish there would have been someone who would have pushed me to start working on my personal brand and would have explained the benefits I could have gained by having one.
Let me help you narrow down the reasons to give your child in college, or even a younger sibling, you wish to help.
1. Express yourself.
You’ve done all the work you can to shape your college student to be the person they are today, and you should be proud of that accomplishment. Through college, they have become more in touch with who they want to be, and where they want to go and what they want to accomplish. Personal brand will help them act through on that knowledge in the years to come because the principle encourages them to be exactly who they are without changing a thing.
2. A job well-done presents an opportunity to do more.
Not every college student graduates Summa Cum Laude while volunteering in Guatemala during the summer, and that’s more than OK. Having a personal brand can be a beneficial way for your student to gain confidence in the things that he or she have accomplished and are continuing to conquer. Help them own their unique story.
3. When life gets blurry, adjust your focus.
Everyone is good at something or does something that makes him or her special, even if it is being able to ride a unicycle. There is something that everyone can do to stand out.
Although you already know your child is special, help them find what makes them unique and personalize it in their own way. Encourage your child to grip onto and focus on one thing that makes them stand out or, if need be, embrace being more of a creative spirit when sharing their many qualities.
The more original and creative they are while advertising their legitimate accomplishments, the more special it will be. You may be thinking that there are several people out there who play on a flag football team or babysit while enrolled in school, but what about those two things makes your student unique and individualistic?
I, for example, am a pretty average individual when it comes to hobbies and daily activities. I’ve babysat, I like to take photos and I was in a Sorority. When trying to brand myself, in my personal opinion I don’t have any unique hobbies that make me stand out…but after a long brainstorm, I discovered what makes me unique, being half Danish. Thanks, Mom!
4. What you do today, can improve all your tomorrows.
When applying to jobs, there is a lot that needs to be on their to-do list and many things to look over. Not only should their resume be up to date, but their Linkedin page needs a fresh touch as well. Having a personal brand is something they can focus their energy on while personalizing it to show their passions. Although it is inevitable that your college student may be focusing on the social scene, encourage them to focus on the harsh truth of what’s to come after college – foreseeable job competition.
5. Be you, it’s worth more than a copy.
When leaving college, one thing that I wanted was to have left an impression on something or someone. This should be something you should want for your student wherever they go. Whether it is an interview, a catering job or meeting a new neighbor, you never know the connections that they might come in contact with. Although you have already raised your child to leave a good impression when meeting people in person, there is another way to back that up.
.ME’s survey found that 55% of HR professionals personal website increases their interest in learning more about the candidate.
With the Internet today it is important that, if they are searched after the fact of meeting someone, they have something more presentable than Facebook to show for it. A personal website that has been branded to your college student and their attributes should be an extra touch to go with their resume.
6. To be with them, wherever they go.
You may be an empty nester, but to still be active in their life and exciting time, help your college student start building their personal brand. There is no one that knows them better than you! Through the four years of college there are so many changes that can happen, but a personal brand is a way for a constant, while developing through an exciting time. A personal brand is also something they can continue to use through future employments no matter what changes happen and where life takes them.
Now, it may sound like everyone is branding himself or herself. Although this may be true…”everyone” is a bit excessive.
“Only 7% of job seekers have a personal website” – US Money
Out of all of my college friends, I was the only one that had an online presence other than Facebook and Twitter, and even then, this was something I started after I graduated. Looking back at college I wish that I had kept an online branding site that was specific to me when I started the best 4 years of my life. Why?
Well, if I had started an online branding site I would have had personal brand to present to employers. Not only would I have had a stronger brand, I would have stood out against multiple candidates and something that would have made me unique on all levels.
Is your college student ahead of the curve?