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Last night, Scott Meis, Katie Traut and I headed to a University of Washington PRSSA meeting to give our “Brand U” presentation on personal branding. While our presentation was geared towards students about to graduate, the principles of personal branding are important at any point in a career.

Brand Yourself or Someone Else Will

When discussing the elements of personal branding, a few elements we touched on included:

– Shaping your story—what exactly is YOUR unique selling proposition? Richard Branson does a great job of selling his vision for Virgin Airlines.

9 things that matter more than your GPA. Skills like time management, a portfolio and your network are far more important than you 3.975 GPA.

How to become a critic, a creator and a connector. Instead of remaining an online spectator, make a concerted effort to comment on blogs, create content and connect with those around you that share similar passions. In short, be a resource to the community!

Networking is the name of game

We were impressed by the group of 2o students who showed up, many bearing business cards and prepared with a slew of great questions. In today’s world, relationship building is at the heart of everything—during your job search as well as throughout your career. Below are a few tips we shared:

Use the tools available. LinkedIn hosts an excellent student jobs portal for college students that lists internships and entry level positions.

Use Twitter strategically. Instead of obsessing over your number of followers, focus on your content. Be useful. Connect by sharing great content and actively engaging with your community to help build valuable long-term relationships.

Start a blog. Pick an issue you are passionate about and don’t allow technology fears to stand in the way. Start with a simple WordPress or Posterous blog and start honing your online writing skills. Create simple, shareable and timely content. Don’t have time to drum up original posts all the time? Focus on curating content or even “phoning it in.”

In the end, all of these tips will help you avoid situations like this…

Special thanks to Amanda Nguyen and the rest of the UW PRSSA group for inviting us!

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