Cultivating a Digital Persona: The Art of Personal Branding on LinkedIn for Students

Author: Gregory Bertly Josefano (BE ‘20)

As college students, one of our main priorities to become well-rounded individuals is to gain as much “experience” as possible, right? Right! However, the value of these experiences extends beyond their immediate benefits.

 

It is no secret that these so-called “experiences” will pave the way for greater opportunities, whether that be internally or externally, local or international, or as a leader or follower. However, what use are these if there are no available resources to connect with other astounding individuals and prospective career, business, or research partners? Well, that is what LinkedIn was created for to craft a compelling online profile and build a personal brand to connect with professionals and entrepreneurs in your field of interest.

 

Before we get started, one thing: if you don’t have a LinkedIn account, MAKE ONE! And if you have an underdeveloped profile with a Gmail letter profile picture, work to fix it.

 

Now, before we begin, let’s ask the million-dollar question: what is personal branding? To start, personal branding is the process of building a unique and valuable identity for yourself that will help you stand out from the crowd.

 

It’s imperative that you as undergraduates start thinking about your brand early on, as it can help you determine your academic career, your job search, and your future endeavors.

Remember, starting earlier is better than not starting at all! 

 

Here are several tips for personal branding on LinkedIn:

 

  1. Define your unique value proposition. 

What makes you unique and different from other students or business people? What skills, talents, and experiences do you possess that others may not? Determine what you are passionate about. Once you can answer these questions, you can start to communicate these to your connections and others.

  1. Build a Strong Online Presence

If related to your major or interests, start building a website, social media profiles, and an online portfolio. Work on your LinkedIn profile to ensure that it is complete and professional, reflecting who you are and your focus. 

  1. Actively network with professionals in your field. 

In the field of business and entrepreneurship, nothing great is ever truly accomplished without collaboration. Lucky for us, LinkedIn is a community filled with illustrious individuals! Connect with them and reach out to mentors for assistance. Networking is a fantastic way to learn more about your field and to get your foot in the door.

  1. Exhibit your achievements and experience

Don’t be afraid to talk about your achievements. Share projects, academic accomplishments, and extracurricular activities that demonstrate your abilities and commitment.

  1. Be authentic, consistent, and transparent

Building a great personal brand requires consistency. Update your profile regularly with new accomplishments, experiences, and talents. Engage with your network by taking part in lively discussions and leaving comments. Personal branding is founded on authenticity. Be true to yourself and convey your values openly.

 

Only you can establish a personal brand that opens doors and creates meaningful relationships. Remember that your personal brand is your chance to shine in the virtual world and demonstrate your potential to the professional community.







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