Personal Branding – A Quick Guide

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In the month since TalentEgg’s launched, the most prevalent buzzword I find coming out of my mouth is personal branding.

I’m a major advocate of it and when you’re graduating from university, it is absolutely essential to package yourself as a brand. It is incredibly effective to portray to employers that you have a clear set of values, a purpose and vision of what you want to achieve.

Here are 3 ways to create an effective personal brand in the new-grad job market:

Creating a Resume Outside the Lines

In the summer after my third year, I did an internship at a major Canadian bank. Several years before that, I decided I wanted to be an actress and as a result, bought a domain and started a web community for young actors. I also appeared in two commercials.

Which of these experiences do you think comes first on my traditional resume? The banking internship.

And which more accurately sends employers the correct signals about my potential in their company? My acting phase.

The point is – resume outside the lines. Use your resume as an advertisement for you- one that gives employers the most accurate signals of what your potential is within their organization.

Follow the guidelines, but be creative.

Build an Online Presence You Want Employers to See

The fact is, employers are looking at you online. This doesn’t mean you need to erase all your great and possibly inappropriate pictures on Facebook (this is what privacy settings are for!), but it does mean that there’s a huge opportunity to create a great online brand (or ‘ebrand’) for employers to find when they Google your name.

Dan Schawbel talks about creating a consistent eBrand. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but certainly it’s worth taking advantage of the internet as a dynamic place to host information that is much richer than what can be contained on your resume.

Stand Out for Something

Did you really, really want to be an actor when you were younger? Did you compete in sand-castle building competitions? Or conquer every challenge in Sim City 2000?

Believe it or not, these things help you stand out.

When I was interviewing for jobs after graduation, my internship at a big bank helped get me through the door, but in the actual interview, we spent far more time discussing my ‘acting career.’

Why? because it says more about me and perhaps more importantly, set me apart from the crowd.

Here are a few great resources for further reading:

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About the author

Lauren Friese is the founder of TalentEgg.ca. She graduated from Queen's University in 2005 with a degree in economics and had no idea how to make a successful transition into the workforce. She ended up at the LSE in London, England, and after earning an MSc in economic history, used Milkround.com – a British graduate recruitment website – to find a great entry-level role in consulting in London. She thought Milkround was fantastic, and that it was a service sorely lacking in Canada. And so the idea for TalentEgg was hatched!