Personal Branding For Students & Graduates

In previous posts, we have given insights on how to make your social accounts more professional and the right social sites for professional networking.

Now let’s take the next steps in building yourself a powerful personal brand that can help you succeed in business or help you get the job you always wanted.

Companies across industries have digitized their operations and processes and, as a result, today’s job seekers and new businesses require specialized skills to help them stand out from the crowd.

The question is how does one build a powerful personal brand?

1.  Make sure your Social Media Page handles are consistent
Having handles that appear consistently increases brand recognition. Also, it makes it easier for others to search and find you. If you want to increase the chances for people mentioning your brand, help them find and follow you by making it obvious when they type the ‘@’ sign. You need a simple handle, as close to your personal or brand name as possible.

e.g. @BrandonStark for an individual
or @WinterfellDesigns for your business

2.  Have Professional Profile Pictures
The bare fact is that your professional image is very much linked to your literal images. What you look like shouldn’t matter, but it can. Ensure that you use a professional profile picture on ALL of your social media platforms (even Snapchat). To secure a job or business partnership it may be worthwhile to spend a little bit and hire a professional photographer to take proper profile pictures.

You also need to optimize your profile images on each network. This usually just takes a quick crop, which you can do in minutes. Think about how will it look expanded, or smaller, when showing up in people’s streams or how will it look on mobile compared to desktop.

Each social network has its own standard optimal images sizes. For Instance.

Facebook profile picture: 170 X 170 pixels
Facebook cover photo: 828 X 465 pixels
Twitter profile photo: 400 X 400 pixels
Twitter header image: 1,500 X 500 pixels
LinkedIn profile photo: 400 X 400 pixels (minimum)
LinkedIn custom background: 1584 X 396
LinkedIn cover photo: 974 X 330 pixels
Instagram profile picture: 110 X 110 pixels
Pinterest profile picture: 150 X 150 pixels

3. Have a professional email address
Probably the most crucial component to your email address is your username. That is the “JaneDoe” part of Some people seem not to think about the fact that a simple username like JaneDoe looks way more professional than CoolGirl277 or MsDoe94.

You just have to decide whether you want to use your full name, the first name only, a combination of name and initials, or a different username entirely. Bear in mind your entire brand and brand name when you do this.

The email domain you choose also equally sends a message about you. Using outdated domains like can make you seem stuck in a technological rut.

These are the generally accepted professional email providers:
Gmail –
Office 365 –
– Zoho –

4. Consider Blogging/Vlogging
Writing and making videos about the areas you are interested in is a great way to show that you are articulate, passionate and knowledgeable. If you haven’t written articles yet, you might want to use some of your better school work or portfolios and use those. Both blogs and vlogs have the added benefit of being tools or added material you can send when a particular opportunity comes up.

5. Create a modern professional CV
Lastly, but certainly not least, your resume, to be effective, needs to be modern, concise, consistent, clear and easy to read. Avoid tiny fonts, dense blocks of text, vague language or excessive jargon, and inconsistent formatting.

However, depending on the type of job you are seeking, a nontraditional resume can definitely help you get noticed by a prospective employer. For instance, for someone in the Information Technology or Creative industries, digital CV’s are helpful for you to create a portfolio of films, sound clips, photographs, or other pieces of work related to your industry and to display your skills.

Take some time to revamp your current resume, select the best resume type. Depending on your personal circumstances, you could choose either a Chronological, functional, combination or a targeted resume. Make sure the most important qualities, and achievements appear on the first page in a brief, summary. Then move on to your most recent work experience/achievements.

Building a powerful personal brand through your online presence can significantly increase the chances of furthering your career prospects. More students are using these social media techniques to supplement their traditional applications.

Enroll for a Bachelors or Post Graduate Courses with and experience an education institution that has modified its curriculum to meet this growing demand for digital know-how, and provides the essential skills students need. 

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About Grace Mavindidze

An experienced Journalist cum Digital Marketer who has worked in Media and Marketing in various Southern African countries for close to 15 years. An avid reader, she is passionate about fostering a reading and academic culture especially in young Africans. She enjoys travelling, meeting people from a broad cultural spectrum as well as engaging people in topics that are informative, entertaining and insightful. Grace is currently an Accounts Manager and Content Writer for CreativeMagic Group

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