In this guide, we’ll be discussing personal branding for students
We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):
What is Personal Branding for Students?
Personal branding is the process of building your personal reputation.
What are you known for? This can be related to school, family, interests, or anything unique.
For students this means shaping how you are viewed by college admission officers and future employers so that you stick out in a positive way.
Personal branding has taken off in the workforce but what about students who are trying to get ahead during their high school or college years?
Many teens believe they should wait until they graduate to start building their personal brand but there are plenty of opportunities while attending school for your child to build a successful brand.
One of the best benefits to students building their personal brand when attending school is that they are able to start learning who they are as an individual, what sets them apart from others, and how they can use this information to future success in every aspect of their life post-graduation.
Personal branding during high school or college can be used to build a better college application, impress future co-workers, and help you define yourself for who you are.
What are Personal Branding Examples for Students?
A student with a personal brand of being incredibly motivated might talk about projects or activities that they are passionate about.
This is also related to the idea of “college essays” which are short pieces you write to show admissions officers why you are unique and different from other students who may have similar grades, test scores, and school activities.
For example, a student might write about the time she started a business with her friends or how she spent months studying another language to prepare for a mission trip.
These would illustrate passion and drive which are important traits of personal branding.
One way to illustrate this is through online profiles like LinkedIn where you can use keywords that describe your attributes and use your headline, summary section, and other keywords to form a brand.
I recommend starting a LinkedIn profile as soon as profile and creating a personal brand statement to include in your profile.
Why Do Students Need Personal Branding?
Every student wants to stand out. When you are applying for school or jobs, it is important to show that you are more than just your transcript or resume.
Building a personal brand makes students memorable and shows that they have specific interests and talents outside of the classroom, which may be important in some future careers.
What Advantages Does Personal Branding Give for Students?
A student who is able to use personal branding to show their unique traits will have a positive advantage over others in the admissions process.
Building your brand can help you stand out from other applicants and make colleges interested in learning more about you.
What are some Disadvantages of Personal Branding for Students?
First, it takes time and practice to build your brand. This does not happen overnight and requires regular upkeep through blogging, social media posts, etc.
It is important to remember that this is a long process which will be well worth it in the end though.
Secondly, for some students their personal brand might go against what they are passionate about or have trouble finding an opportunity to demonstrate their personal brand.
What Can Parents Do to Help Their Students with Personal Branding?
Parents can help their students think about who they are and what they want to be known for.
At first, this might not come naturally but as your child gets older you should work together on brainstorming ideas and coming up with a clear personal brand that makes sense.
Parents can also encourage their teens to attend activities that allow them to show off their strengths.
For example, a student who is passionate about cooking may want to join a school club or compete in a culinary academic decathlon competition so they have an opportunity to demonstrate this skill.
When Should Students Start Personal Branding?
Students should start personal branding from a young age.
This will be different depending on the student but some good opportunities include joining clubs, volunteering, or finding hobbies that show off qualities of personal branding interest.
In general, personal branding can start with students who are in middle school and continues through high school and into college.
How to Build Your Personal Brand as a Student?
1. Decide on a Personal Brand
Decide on a personal brand. This can be hard to do at first but with time you will have a better idea of the type of person you are and want to be known as.
If you don’t know where to start, ask yourself what makes you different from your peers or see if there is someone else who has a similar personal brand and what they do to make sure their brand is known.
2. Stay on Brand
Keep up with your personal brand.
Personal branding takes time and effort and needs to be kept alive through writing, sharing ideas, or participating in activities that show off your personal brand.
Keeping up your personal brand will allow you to have a more successful career path after graduating.
Connect your personal brand with other students.
Your peers may have similar interests to you but they might not share the same strengths or skills as you do.
Finding others who can help strengthen your personal brand is important for success in school and building successful relationships after graduation.
4. Keep Learning About Yourself
Keep learning about yourself and what makes you unique.
Developing your personal brand is a journey that requires you to continually learn about yourself and what makes you unique.
It is important to not get discouraged when creating your personal brand because it may take time to find an opportunity that works for you.
5. Rebrand When Necessary
Rebrand when necessary.
Personal branding takes time to develop but also can evolve with you as you learn more about yourself and what is important to you.
Rebranding is not a bad thing and can help you find new opportunities that further build your personal brand.
6. Stay Genuine
Be genuine and stay true to who you are as a person. Trying to be someone else or trying to fit into a certain mold is counterproductive if it goes against your interests and passions.
It is important to develop your personal brand but be true to who you are as a person and stay confident in the things that make you different from others.
7. Carry These Tips Into Life
Keep these tips in mind when building your personal brand.
These tips can be used throughout high school and college to ensure a strong brand that will carry into the real world.
Be patient with yourself and remember that everyone’s personal brand is different.
Nate Torres is an entrepreneur, growth marketer, and photographer and writes mostly on those topics. Nate runs his own professional photography business called Nate Torres Photography. Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. He is also a photography speaker and author on Photofocus.