A Guide to Personal Branding for Students

young woman in a classroom

To land your dream job, it’s not enough to just have credentials and experience: employers also want to check you’re the right fit for the company. This comes down to your personal branding. There’s no need to wait until you graduate to start working on your personal brand — in fact, it’s useful to start while you’re at university. There are a few things you can do right away.

1. Consider How You Present Yourself

You may have opportunities to meet potential employers and professionals in your field while you’re at university. For instance, you may attend job fairs, do job shadowing, or work internships. It’s important to consider how you present yourself in these interactions, particularly when making a first impression.

How you decide to present yourself (especially how you dress) should depend on the norms for the field. When you’re working, your field will also influence things like whether you should turn up to meetings early and whether you should participate or just listen.

Whatever your field, it’s important to present yourself as respectful and professional. This means paying attention to people rather than looking at your cell phone and minimizing the amount of time you spend on activities unrelated to work.

2. Create a Professional Resume and Cover Letter

In many situations, the first contact you’ll have with an employer will be through your resume or cover letter. These are great for expressing who you are. It’s important to keep these documents professional. Use proper formatting and proofread them (perhaps several times, just to make sure) before you send them. Whenever possible, you should also customize both your resume and cover letter according to the job you’re applying to. This will show you have a genuine interest and allow you to highlight your most relevant skills and experience.

3. Brand Yourself Online

It’s also important to work on your branding when you’re not actively looking for work or reaching out to employers. You can do this by focusing on your online presence.
Start by checking what people will find if they search for you. If it’s not what you want them to see, clean up your online presence by deleting any content that doesn’t match your personal branding. Replace it with content that does reflect the image you want, such as by changing your profile photos on social media, adding a summary expressing your goals on LinkedIn, and sharing articles related to your passions.

You may like to create an online portfolio or even an entire website for personal branding reasons. This could showcase examples of your work, feature projects you’ve been involved in, or have a blog where you write articles that demonstrate your expertise.

To effectively brand yourself, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to represent. To learn more about who you are and your values, it helps to have an independent lifestyle, which is something you won’t have living on campus. An alternative to uOttawa student housing is 1Eleven. You’ll have your own bedroom or even an entire apartment to yourself in a student community packed with modern amenities. Book a tour now.

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