Building a Personal Brand to Stand Out After Graduation

Taylor Fredericks & Brittany Lam

January 21, 2021

With nearly 2 million college students projected to graduate in the class of 2021, the need for young professionals to stand out are evident. Building on the strengths of their public relations skills, PR students can get closer to being memorable by creating a personal brand.

Personal Branding

Personal branding is the process of developing, maintaining and promoting yourself to others. It is made up of your experiences and skills, as well as how you present yourself.

Your personal brand is just like marketing’s version of branding a product. In personal branding, you’re marketing yourself as a professional.

Brittney Oliver, founder and creator of Lemons 2 Lemonade Mixers, helps millennials create content that shows off their best versions of themselves. Oliver draws her expertise from an early career at one of the world’s largest PR firms and contributing articles to top media outlets like ESSENCE and Fast Company. As if that wasn’t enough to convince you that she knows what she’s doing—she was named one of “Nine Black Women Leaders Dedicated to Empowering Others” by Forbes.

Her brand is pretty fierce.

Focus on the 3 R’s

Oliver says that building your personal brand online and within your organization consists of the 3 Rs.

Look at your relationships within your target community. Do you have a mentor or sponsor? Relationships and using your connections are a great way to build your credibility across the board. Bonus: what others say about you contributes to your personal brand, so load up those mentors and sponsors with all the details about what you want to be known for professionally.

Show your results. Oliver suggests writing down the objectives your organization may expect from you. Ask yourself: How can you contribute to your organization and input your ideas? Build your personal brand around the places you excel.

Reputation plays a big role in shaping your personal brand. Don’t be afraid to ask your peers and colleagues what they think about you. Feedback from trusted members of your community will only improve your brand.

Importance of Personal Branding

A personal brand allows you to build your reputation and motivates others to want to hire you. Jennifer Spencer, contributor from Entrepreneur, says that personal branding can help you “excel and reach your goals.”

Not convinced? Academic research swoops in with receipts.

An article published in Frontiers in Psychology concluded that:

personal branding leads to greater career satisfaction, fully mediated by perceived employability.

You had us at happiness, and double bonus for getting us closer to a J-O-B.

How to Build Your Personal Brand

You’re convinced, and so are we. Here is what Oliver says you should build your personal brand.

  • Understand expertise. Hone into your industry knowledge and contribute to the conversation. Share your insight and tips about what you know at work or online about what you know. Consistent messaging with strong language and tone can establish more trust and credibility with your audience.

  • Lean in to your demographic. What demographic categories are you in? Use that knowledge to contribute to the conversation. Let’s say if you’re the only woman of color, share your input because your experiences can add to the conversation and build your personal brand.

  • Passion and purpose. As you grow in your career you will discover what your passions are and from there your purpose. At times, you won’t know, but as you try you’ll know that you’re passionate about this. This helps to set intentions on how you want people to perceive you.

Building a personal brand takes patience and focus.

Following Oliver’s tips will help you build a strong foundation for your own personal brand and set yourself apart from others.

To learn more about Brittney Oliver, visit brittneyoliver.com.

Building a Personal Brand to Stand Out After Graduation
Building a Personal Brand to Stand Out After Graduation

With nearly 2 million college students projected to graduate in the class of 2021, the need for young professionals to stand out are evident. Building on the strengths of their public relations skills, PR students can get closer to being memorable by creating a personal brand.

Personal Branding

Personal branding is the process of developing, maintaining and promoting yourself to others. It is made up of your experiences and skills, as well as how you present yourself.

Your personal brand is just like marketing’s version of branding a product. In personal branding, you’re marketing yourself as a professional.

Brittney Oliver, founder and creator of Lemons 2 Lemonade Mixers, helps millennials create content that shows off their best versions of themselves. Oliver draws her expertise from an early career at one of the world’s largest PR firms and contributing articles to top media outlets like ESSENCE and Fast Company. As if that wasn’t enough to convince you that she knows what she’s doing—she was named one of “Nine Black Women Leaders Dedicated to Empowering Others” by Forbes.

Her brand is pretty fierce.

Focus on the 3 R’s

Oliver says that building your personal brand online and within your organization consists of the 3 Rs.

Look at your relationships within your target community. Do you have a mentor or sponsor? Relationships and using your connections are a great way to build your credibility across the board. Bonus: what others say about you contributes to your personal brand, so load up those mentors and sponsors with all the details about what you want to be known for professionally.

Show your results. Oliver suggests writing down the objectives your organization may expect from you. Ask yourself: How can you contribute to your organization and input your ideas? Build your personal brand around the places you excel.

Reputation plays a big role in shaping your personal brand. Don’t be afraid to ask your peers and colleagues what they think about you. Feedback from trusted members of your community will only improve your brand.

Importance of Personal Branding

A personal brand allows you to build your reputation and motivates others to want to hire you. Jennifer Spencer, contributor from Entrepreneur, says that personal branding can help you “excel and reach your goals.”

Not convinced? Academic research swoops in with receipts.

An article published in Frontiers in Psychology concluded that:

personal branding leads to greater career satisfaction, fully mediated by perceived employability.

You had us at happiness, and double bonus for getting us closer to a J-O-B.

How to Build Your Personal Brand

You’re convinced, and so are we. Here is what Oliver says you should build your personal brand.

  • Understand expertise. Hone into your industry knowledge and contribute to the conversation. Share your insight and tips about what you know at work or online about what you know. Consistent messaging with strong language and tone can establish more trust and credibility with your audience.

  • Lean in to your demographic. What demographic categories are you in? Use that knowledge to contribute to the conversation. Let’s say if you’re the only woman of color, share your input because your experiences can add to the conversation and build your personal brand.

  • Passion and purpose. As you grow in your career you will discover what your passions are and from there your purpose. At times, you won’t know, but as you try you’ll know that you’re passionate about this. This helps to set intentions on how you want people to perceive you.

Building a personal brand takes patience and focus.

Following Oliver’s tips will help you build a strong foundation for your own personal brand and set yourself apart from others.

To learn more about Brittney Oliver, visit brittneyoliver.com.