The global economy is slowing recovering and offering up a huge range of opportunities. It’s up to you grab those opportunities and take the next step in your career.
As a student or young graduate entering into the career marketplace for the first time and trying to land your dream job, you need to establish an advantage over the competition. It isn’t enough to think that if do your best and get that degree someone will notice. You also need to promote your personal brand to separate you from the competition.
We have all heard of the Nobel Peace prize but far fewer of us know how Alfred Nobel built his fortune. Alfred Nobel invented two things: dynamite and the detonator. When his brother, Ludwig Nobel, died in 1888, the obituary that showed up in the next day’s paper was Alfred’s, not Ludwig’s and because of his inventions he was referred to as “The Merchant of Death”. In a moment, of realisation Alfred recognised that unless he took control of the situation the Nobel brand would always be associated with death and destruction.
He immediately made a plan to establish the Nobel Prizes leaving most of his millions to the cause. Today the name Nobel is synonymous with outstanding achievements in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Medicine and Peace.
So how do you translate this into creating your own personal brand that you can use to boost your employment chances? This isn’t about reinventing yourself, but merely creating awareness for your brand by showcasing your achievements and success stories.
The first thing to remember about your personal brand is it doesn’t matter who you think you are but rather how recruiters, potential employers and future bosses see, think, and feel about you in comparison to other candidates. As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon says: “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”
Every time you’ve gone on an interview or shown up at uni or on a night out, your personal brand was on display. Now is the time to take control of it and steer it in the direction you want it to go. University is the place where you start building a professional network, participating in a variety of activities, and developing new skills. It’s important to incorporate all these experiences into the foundation of your personal brand. Graduation will arrive faster than you think, so don’t put off the parts of your career you can start today.
As you make your way through uni, you’re going to meet loads of new people. In every new class you take, club you join, and event you attend, you’ll be introduced to people who have the potential to be part of your professional network. Chances are you won’t even realise you’re networking. Here on Student Surveyor it is exactly the same, make connections, this isn’t like facebook and a friends only zone. The more people you add to your professional network, the more important your personal brand will become. They can be students, teachers, alumni, or anyone else you meet or find on the site. You may one day end up doing business with them.
You can also help your professional network grow by introducing your friends to other friends who have the same interests. Being a connector is a great way to make your own professional network stronger and a strong network leads to a stronger personal brand.
What you do outside of class is what you’ll become known for around uni. Whether you participate in professional organisations, volunteer opportunities, sports teams, or some other activity, your fellow students will get to know you based on these activities. It doesn’t matter what activities you choose, just make sure you choose something. Employers wanted rounded employees and ours is a sociable profession.
Your main priority in uni (aside from making friends and having fun) is to learn as many new skills as you can before you leave. Learn everything you can to benefit your career and your future.
The skills you pick up don’t necessarily have to come from the classroom. They are all equally important to your personal brand. As you learn new skills, start adding them to your CV and Student Surveyor profile. The more skills you become an expert on, the more credible you will become. One of the most important qualities of a personal brand is credibility.
Finally promote yourself. You’re here so that’s a good start. We are a social media network specifically targeted at launching early careers. This dramatically levels the playing field and you now have the possibility to reach a vast, industry specific audience, at no expense other than time, feel free to use the ‘My Articles’ tab on your profile page, join or create groups and make comments but do take care what you post. A recent study done by The CareerBuilder.co.uk suggested that as many as 37% of employers are checking out prospective employees on social media before they make a final decision and 44% could reject candidates that had been overly critical of past employers. 11% also stated that although they don’t currently use ‘social media screening’, it’s something they intend to implement. So keep your drunken photos, negative comments, strong opinions on politics or potentially embarrassing personal information to yourself. Remember privacy doesn’t exist on the Internet. As soon as you post it, your secret is out, and you may accidentally damage your job-seeker personal brand faster than you can click your mouse!
You are at an advantage, anyone looking to pursue a career as a surveyor can create a profile by simply registering.Your student surveyor profile is your personal ‘brand’ page. It allows you to create a personal statement and enhance your CV with the dynamic content that allows you to productively engage with employers and the industry. Read more in our profile tips section.