Before you can even think about branding, you must first decide who you are. It is vital in this overall process that you maintain your authenticity. Be yourself within a professional context. There is no need to fake it. Identify what you have to offer and seek out the market that requires your offerings. Many students make the mistake of overstating their accomplishments thinking that it “looks better” or “sounds better”. Stop. Speak clearly and concisely. Convey to the reader the skills, experience that you have acquired and if they are interested they will pursue you further. Even the most basic opportunities provide you with lessons for an even bigger opportunity. Serving or hosting in a restaurant enhances your interpersonal, communication and stress management abilities. A counter position at McDonalds provides the reader an immediate brand with which they can identify. It becomes a point of commonality and also conveys to the reader rather than staying home during your freshman summer you decided that you wanted to be employed.
Also note that many employers will review your record to confirm the accuracy of the information that you have provided. This is part of the reason they check references. Many will also conduct a background and or credit check. In addition they may also for an official transcript. Be honest. You should not round up your GPA or inflate any of accomplishments and achievements. Also consider how you wish to spend your time in college. While partying and freedom is a wonderful thing they must be balanced against the priority of studying hard to secure the grades that will make you competitive in the job market. Make your choice of activities, affiliations and programs based on how they will enhance or diminish your brand. If you choose wisely you will embrace authenticity as the only means by which to convey the full scope of how your college experience has prepared you to add value to your future employer.
Authenticity will allow you to fully assess whether or not you are a fit for a particular company or firm. It enables you to confidently share how your prior experiences have prepared you to perform effectively within their organization. Emphasize what you have gathered from all of your experiences. Be proud of the growth, information or knowledge acquired. Demonstrate to your future boss how can use your pass to help your employer achieve their future objectives.
(c) 2009 W.Reid.