Personal Branding - The Cure for the Common Interview

So you want your next interview to be successful right? Every college student looking for his or her first internship or post-graduate job, as well as high school students interviewing for college admissions, would like to be successful. This struggle and stress is cured by a new concept that has been developed recently. Personal Branding is the wave of the future and students who embrace it will be at the forefront of the job search and will claim their dream jobs.

Personal Branding is defined as an individual’s total perceived value, relative to competitors, as viewed by their audience. In this case, the audience is the employer or admissions board, which has to pick students from a collection of thousands. How does an individual stand out, amongst the clutter might you ask? The person creates a Personal Brand, leveraging experience both at work, from his or her education and from their backgrounds. Students are used to creating a simple resume and submitting it for an open position within a company, but although this is standard, it is simply not powerful enough anymore. You have the power to stand out from the competition and be unique, but it takes hard work and focus.

The concept takes into account the combined forces of 4 distinct elements: personality, appearance, competencies, and a differentiator. When these elements are integrated, they become your core message or elevator pitch. During an interview, this core message is most valuable and actually acts as your value proposition to the hiring manager or school. In order to conceive this message, you must fully analyze your strengths in those 4 element areas.

If you feel you are missing a piece of the pie, then you must strategize and become determined in acquiring new skills or personality features. This isn’t easy and takes work, but your Personal Brand develops over time. What’s important is that even while you grow, your brand grows, but you must have a consistent message so that is remembered by your audience.

This is the time to shine and to project your inherent strengths and interests to your audience and become discovered. Why be like everyone else, you will only be bypassed by others who take advantage and leverage this great concept.

Content for this article provided by Dan Schawbel.

Dan Schawbel is an accomplished marketing professional with 6 years of experience, spanning all marketing disciplines, in organizations such as Reebok, Lycos, LoJack and EMC2. As the Personal Branding spokesman, Dan has mentored and developed several careers, both professionally and scholastically.