Student Branding: A New Requirement For Getting Any Job

While most students in high school and college plan on interning at a company, making some connections, and hopefully landing a great job thanks to these tried-and-true methods…there’s an extra step every student should take. It’s all thanks to the new era of connectivity and it’s called Student Branding.

Dan Schawbel, a well-known leader in the world of personal branding (he coined the term himself and runs the Student Branding Blog) wants the students of the world to be prepared for their first, second, and every job they may have. In short, students need to start thinking about their online and offline branding in order to maintain an attractive persona. By attractive, I mean that students must tailor their skills, tweets, facebook updates, networking, profiles, and other online communications to be as attractive to potential employers as possible. While not just focused on getting a job, maintaining your ‘brand’ as a student can also help you with networking, blogging, pretty much anything.

I’m a student, help me build my personal brand!

Dan Schawbel stopped by my class at Harvard to discuss how to do just this and there is a simple takeaway I can share with everyone: own your name. You may say, but Jeff, my name is my own and no one can take that away! Well, dear reader, would you believe that there are most likely many other people with your name who might also want to be as famous or employed as you? If a potential employer, spouse, or friend wants to know more about you, they’re going to Google you. That’s why you need to do the following:

  • Buy ‘yourname.com, .org, .net
  • Use the same professional picture of you on everything. Dan uses the picture to the right on business cards, e-mails, websites, books, posters, you name it, that’s the shot.)
  • Use your name as your Twitter account (don’t use random numbers or keywords that no one will remember)
  • Don’t be unprofessional on social networks or blogs. These actions are all archived by third-parties like Facebook, blogging comments, etc. and are all found by Google Site Indexers.

Simple enough, right? You wouldn’t believe how confused people can get when they don’t see their branding working for them with a Twitter account like ‘JustinBieber4241x.’ While this is an extreme case, consider this your wake-up call.

Tell me more!

Be sure to check out the Student Branding Blog for some other great tips on how to kick-start your career before you graduate.There are some great tips and tricks on there such as ‘why you should be lifecasting and podcasting’ and ‘how to get into the college of your dreams and hack it’. Enjoy!

As I write this in late April, it has occurred to me that many students are going to need all the help they can get with student branding since graduation is just a few weeks away.To them I say:

‘Time to start branding yourself!’