While the difficulty in finding a job in today’s market rises, students are looking for ways to stand out.
One way a student can stand out from other applicants and workers is to brand themselves. While being creative, students can let their personality and skills shine through their accomplishments while preparing for the real world.
The best way for students to brand themselves, according to Steve Ward, director of the Academic and Career Planning Center, and Carly Heard, assistant director of Student Life, is to get
“The only way you can brand yourself is to have some experience that you can say, ‘I’ve done this and I’m good at it, and I have some evidence that I’m good at it. Let me tell you about it,’” Ward said. “That’s the best way students can get themselves separated from other candidates.”
Internships are at the top of Ward’s list for students to prepare themselves for later opportunities.
“That’s the main way that students can get experience,” Ward said. “You have to stick your toe in and that’s the best way so people can know your work.”
Heard said students need to find a way to come out on top for interviews and experiences.
“Any way to make yourself unique, whether it be study abroad or participating in different organizations that might pertain to the career that they are going towards, sets them apart,” Heard said. “In not only their resume and cover letter, but when someone meets you and when you get to have that conversation about an experience that you’ve had, it sets you apart from everyone else.”
Students need to start earlier with getting experience, networking and branding themselves, Heard said
“The sooner you become involved and start thinking about those things that you are interested in, the more opportunities you’re going to find ahead of you,” she said.
Ward agreed about how students should start as soon as possible with branding themselves.
“Unless you do this stuff early, you’re going to have 18 different options for yourself and you won’t be able to brand yourself in a specific place because you haven’t been able to focus,” Ward said.
Sophomore Lyndsey Reese said she applied for a job to add to her resume.
“I’m preparing for my future by working at SESDAC,” Reese said. “I’m going into the medical field so the job will look really good on my resume, and I also really enjoy it.”
Junior Jessica Anderson said that as an elementary education major it is important for her to gain as much experience as possible in her field.
“In the past I have volunteered at a grade school and also work at an in-home daycare during the summer to get experience,” Anderson said.
Anderson has also added additional certifications to her future teaching certificate to give her more job
“One way I am branding myself, or trying to be more marketable to future employers, is instead of just getting the regular elementary education major, I’m also adding an early childhood and kindergarten endorsement and a reading minor,” Anderson said.
One of the best ways for students to brand or market themselves is to take advantage of the resources on campus, Ward said. He said students should attend the career fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Muenster University Center Ballroom to get a head start on opportunities for internships and jobs for next summer.