With millions of Millennials spilling from college campuses into the workforce, the job market has become more competitive than ever.
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that during the 2016 –2017 school year alone, colleges and universities are expected to award 1,018,000 associate’s degrees and 1.9 million bachelor’s degrees – meaning college grads nationwide will be leaving the comfort of a classroom to enter their respective careers by the thousands.
This figure speaks volumes for students beginning to apply for internships or entry level positions – the resume they have spent their college years pining to make perfect will now be stacked against hundreds of other potential candidates. The question arises: In this sea of fresh faces, how can one stand out from the many?
The answer to this lies in an age-old theory: build your own brand. Know your individual skills and own them – turn your talents into your own empire.
Being a college student on a limited budget puts a number of constraints on a young professional attempting to become a brand. However, the branding process is something that can be done for minimal if at no cost at all to the individual.
Begin by identifying the strongest points on your portfolio: any projects, assignments and internship tasks you may have racked up apply.
Garner a platform to showcase these points. For those interested in digital design or photography, create an Instagram page dedicated to your work. Most importantly, utilize hashtags. Hashtag your name, anything relevant to the subject, or even your own tagline.
Social media is a free tool that allows businesses to see you can not only capture an audience of your own, but also keep their attention. The same goes for website generators, such as Wix or WordPress.
These platforms allow a user to gather all of their content into one place, with the freedom to design the space to fit their tone. These sites allow a user to upload audio and video content, print pieces, even copies of resumes.
When applying for a job position or internship, include the link to your website. Not only does this prove you are passionate about what you do, but it is also a neat and organized platform.
Likewise, many sites allow a user to purchase a domain name – meaning instead of having to type “so-and-so.wix.com” the hyperlink will only feature your name or the name you give to your collection of work.
With the millions of college graduates beginning to venture into the world of careers and internships, it is crucial one stands out from the crowd. Begin the branding process now, and thank me later.