Our Best Tips for New Grads #3 – Personal Branding

Google the phrase “personal branding,” and chances are your search will yield a bevy of dry results focused on updating your resume.

The truth? Personal branding is more than that. Much more.

Personal branding is how you’re perceived: on social media, in your community, at school, at work, and by your colleagues and peers.

And although students and seasoned pros alike can continually improve and refine their personal brands, it is especially vital for recent college grads who are searching for that first full-time job.

What follows are Grain & Mortar’s tried-and-true tips on enhancing your personal brand and, dare we say, ways to make you shine.

Dress nice. Show your yourself some respect by taking care of your appearance, and watch others begin to follow suit. By investing time in yourself, you will have increased confidence and feel more prepared for your day. Remember: tights are not pants, sweatpants should not leave your home (with the exception of the gym), and t-shirts are not formalwear. Aim to look your best everyday, and take pride in your appearance.

Watch your mouth. Know that everything you say colors what people think of you. The way you speak about yourself, your work, your parents, your friends and co-workers, and your interests speak volumes. Stay classy on social media. I can’t stress this enough, but I’ve written about this before, so I won’t bore you with repetition.

Brand yourself with your personal style. Ask yourself: “When people think of me, what do I want them to envision?” You are free to present yourself to the world in any way you choose, so make yourself standout from the crowd. You are unique; let your personal style and brand shine through. In some cases, originality and personality can be just as important as your portfolio.

Treat each day as an interview. Picture this: you have an interview at your dream employer. Your chose your outfit the night before, your hair is perfect, your resume is printed on gorgeous paper stock, shoes are shined, and you even got a car wash. You’ve been awake for hours in advance of your interview, and you’ve been drinking coffee and rehearsing your spiel since. You even manage to arrive five minutes early. Because you’re prepared, you’re more than ready for the interview — or whatever the world sends your way. Make it your No. 1 goal to infuse these practices into your daily routine. Showing up early, being prepared and polished are qualities employers want (and need). Show them you already possess these qualities, and you’re well on your way to success.

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