3 Tips for Personal Branding in the Career Search

Just as creating a brand identity is important to businesses, creating a personal brand can distinguish job seekers against other candidates.

Assistant Director of Professional Development and Involvement, Washington State University Carson College of Business

Originally Posted: Jul 25, 2014
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2014

It’s a competitive landscape for professionals seeking a job, but one thing recent graduates can do is set themselves apart by developing a personal brand. Just as creating a brand identity is important to businesses, creating a personal brand can distinguish job seekers against other candidates.

Based on the Washington State University’s Carson College of Business and its work in the Carson Center for Student Success with students across numerous business disciplines and career objectives, these three tips should help recent graduates create a personal brand and stand apart in the job-hunting crowd.

Know your strengths

One of the most commonly asked interview questions is “What are your greatest strengths?” Prior to any interview, brainstorm a list of your own—and resist the urge to be too humble. With a comprehensive list, interviewees can focus on their top strengths to tailor their résumé, draft their elevator speech, and build appropriate social media profiles. It’s also important to showcase examples of how your personal experiences, as an interviewee, exhibit these strengths. 

Master your elevator speech

Perfect an elevator speech by developing a summary of skills and background; then practice delivering the speech in less than two minutes, or the time it takes to ride an elevator. Be clear and concise on why you would be a strong candidate for the available position and highlight key strengths relevant to the specific employment opportunity. The same strategy applies to a résumé. Recruiters typically spend less than 30 seconds scanning a résumé to determine if a candidate is a potential fit for the position. Make your résumé short but complete, and highlight the necessary skills and background needed for the posted position, specifically using key words from the job description.

Update social media platforms

Social media is increasingly used by HR professionals to screen job candidates. Make sure identified strengths in a résumé and elevator speech are reflected in content across all social media platforms. This includes professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn, as well as personal social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Also, Google yourself and if inappropriate content comes up, change or remove what you can.

Searching for an entry-level position can be difficult, time consuming, and stressful, but following the job search tips outlined here can help you optimize your job search and land the perfect career opportunity.

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