How to Build a Personal Brand as a New Graduate

JOB HUNT is spelled out in simple wooden tiles beside a white graduation cap tassle. A pile of jumbled wooden letters decorate the right side against a wooden butcherblock background.
Photo by NisonCo PR & SEO on Unsplash

My name is Chris and I’m a new Staff Writer at NisonCo. It took me years to learn this lesson: the path to career success is paved with a compelling personal brand. Every successful professional I know has effectively established and communicated a personal brand.

A personal brand communicates trust in a professional’s experience and education. The best personal brands are built throughout a long career. As a new graduate with a growing resume, how do you define, establish, and communicate an irresistible personal brand? 

 

Defining Your Personal Brand

Learn how to tell your story. 

A strong personal brand communicates a genuine story about your experience. As a new graduate, your brand must communicate your education, intended career path, and how you are plotting future success.

Why did you receive an education in the field you are pursuing? How did your education position you for success in your field? What skills do you have to offer the industry you are entering? Your personal brand should answer all of these questions. 

I recommend writing a personal brand statement to help answer these queries. Define your values and value proposition. List all of your skills, and describe how you have delivered results during education and employment opportunities. Your personal brand statement gives you the ability to concisely describe your background and accomplishments.

Ask trusted advisors to give you feedback on your personal brand statement. After receiving their feedback, develop an elevator pitch and cover letter using content from your statement. Your elevator pitch and cover letter should be heavily polished before sharing them with potential employers. Get as much feedback as possible.

 

Establishing Your Personal Brand

Professionals with strong personal brands have established themselves as thought leaders in their industries. 

To build credibility, new graduates need to identify mentors with the ability to provide thought leadership. I recommend scheduling informational interviews with potential mentors to learn about their keys to success. Utilize this information to model a successful path for your career.

Continue establishing your personal brand by mentoring new graduates, and introducing them to your mentors. Volunteering for organizations supported by your mentors will also help build your brand. Building a professional community, and sharing knowledge with your colleagues and customers will firmly establish your personal brand. 

 

Communicating Your Personal Brand Online with SEO

Communicating your personal brand on the internet is a necessity. How do you accomplish that? 

I recommend beginning by writing a bio and taking a professional headshot — you need these assets to build your online presence. If you want your brand to stand out, develop a personal website and secure a personal email address. Ideally, your domain name should include your name to help potential employers easily find you in search results. Once you develop these resources, you are ready to take your personal brand online.

Before jumping online, understand where your target audience lives on the internet. Which job boards and social media websites does your target audience use? Find out where to network online with potential employers in your field. 

Check out this job board aggregator to discover who is hiring. Are you interested in a career in cannabis PR, marketing, and SEO? Visit the NisonCo job board, and follow these cannabis industry journalists to learn more about the cannabis industry.

How employers use social media: 70 percent check candidates' social media profiles; 47 percent won't hire you if they can't find you online; and 34 percent have disciplined or fired someone for personal content posted online
Source credit: Employed Historian

LinkedIn is the most popular social media website for employers and job-seekers. I found my position with NisonCo on the NisonCo LinkedIn page. Utilize your personal brand statement to write attention-grabbing “Headline” and “About” sections. I recommend writing content that increases the probability of potential employers finding your LinkedIn page. Content creation intended to maximize your searchability is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

To enhance SEO on your website and social media pages, I suggest finding job descriptions that closely match your preferred employment opportunity. Review the company’s commonly requested skills for that position, and add their keywords to your content. Consider developing a blog on your website to increase the probability of potential employers finding your content. Writing blog and social media content using keywords will help employers easily find you.

If you want to learn more about SEO optimization, NisonCo founder and owner Evan Nison provides tips on our YouTube page. Additionally, NisonCo’s team of SEO experts share their knowledge in the SEO section of our blog

Congratulations on your recent graduation, and happy job hunting!

Looking for help from our experienced psychedelics, cannabis, CBD and crypto/blockchain PR, SEO and marketing team? Let us know if you need help researching trends and topics, crafting communications, or securing news spots by contacting NisonCo here.

Chris Olson joined NisonCo in 2022 as a member of the writing team. He brings to this position his experience developing educational content for nonprofits, media companies, and institutes of higher learning. Chris developed educational content for conferences and webinars produced by the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), and Jage Media, Inc. While at NCIA, he partnered with the Community College of Denver to develop an associate degree in cannabis business. Additionally, at Jage Media, Inc., Chris wrote stories focused on cannabis brands and retailers. Chris is also interested in developing educational content for the psychedelics industry. He was a volunteer on the campaign to decriminalize psilocybin in Denver, where his education efforts helped the city become the first jurisdiction in the United States to decriminalize a psychedelic medicine. Before joining the cannabis and psychedelics industries, Chris served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana; during service, he received a U.S. Embassy grant to establish a community youth center. In his free time, Chris enjoys running, reading, and traveling.