Personal branding: you as a brand?

For you, Coca-Cola might for example be known as a successful brand. You know exactly what they do, what they stand for and how you can recognize them. This is really important for a brand, but what if you started seeing yourself as a kind of ‘brand’ to make an impression on companies…

This ‘presenting yourself’ like brands do, is called personal branding. Recently this phenomenon has become more popular, especially with the coming and rising popularity of the platform ‘LinkedIn’. As a student it is of course more complex to brand yourself than an experienced worker. Often, you will have little to no experience, but despite that, you should be able to distinguish yourself from others. How do you do this? 

Firstly, think of something unique about you, that no single working experience can beat. Do you know what I mean already? Right, your personality! For companies it is not only about having working experience, always keep that in mind. Usually it is more important to have someone matched to their corporate culture. Therefore, they often look for people with a certain personality and the right attitude. If you are a match in this category, you will have a good chance. The thing is, your personality will show in a conversation, but you first have to make sure that it will come that far. Show your personality already in an earlier stage, there are different ways to succeed in this job.

You often make a first impression on the well-known social platform ‘LinkedIn’. Especially in the communications industry this is also a well-known way of networking. People who know how to sell themselves, will also be able to sell a brand. First of all, make sure you have a good picture. Here it is important that your appearance stands out, so of course you should keep it professional (no vacation photos etc.), but smiling is absolutely allowed, even better. A stiff and serious look is not what most companies are looking for…

Have you gained experience in various committees besides your studies? Or a board year, you name it. Then you should definitely mention this! Make sure you don’t forget anything. Are you a diligent student who focuses mainly on their studies and gets high grades, or are you someone who values gaining practical experience in addition to your studies and focuses on that? Let us know! This also says a lot about who you are as a person.

Another way to impress a company is of course your CV and/or motivation letter. Don’t use standard phrases in your motivation letter that you found on the internet, but actually make sure that it’s all your own words. Things like writing style, choice of words, spelling are subconscious things that hint at what kind of person you are. You also choose what you tell about yourself, always try to imagine that a company knows you for 0% and you really have to make sure that if you would read this from the other side, you would be impressed! So don’t be too modest, but make sure it doesn’t become arrogant of course.

Your CV is actually your second LinkedIn profile, but in a nutshell. Describe yourself briefly and enthusiastically. And again: all relevant experience is allowed, so don’t forget your committee for example. In addition, the look of your CV is also a message. If you are a very spontaneous person with an enthusiastic personality, make sure that this comes across by working with colors and shapes. Are you a more structured person who has everything in order? Use clean lines and keep it consistent in terms of color. This way you can unconsciously prime a company. 

So get your LinkedIn, CV and motivation letter in order and show those companies that they need you! 😉

And now on to success!