When you hear the word Beyoncé, what do you think of? If you are a fan, like us, you likely picture her famous concert hair, the singles lady dance, Blue Ivy, and her 20 Grammy’s. If you’re not a fan, you might shrug when asked to name a hit. Here’s the kicker though, both the fan and the non-fan will likely know the following about Beyoncé: she works harder than anyone else in the business. That is her personal brand that pervades everything else she does.
At Will Reed, we talk with employers all the time about their brands, helping them understand how students view and understand them.
Now, I am going to let you in on a little secret. Like Beyoncé + Nike, YOU have a personal brand whether you realize it or not. When someone says your name, people instantly have an image that comes to mind.
Do you know what they are saying?
“Wow, Jacqueline is on top of it! She gets her stuff done!” OR “Sam is really nice, but he is pretty busy and things seem to fall through the cracks.”
Here is the crazy thing… After you graduate, most jobs you will be considered for will never require a resume. You will be “interviewed” in a room you are not even present. Your bosses will be thinking about a particular opportunity and trying to think of the right person for the job. They will never picture your paper resume. They will only be picturing your personal brand.
So, here is the take away, my millennial friends, people need to be more like my friend Shelby. Shelby interned with me for a summer. She was hands down the very best intern I have ever had for 2 very simple reasons.
1. She did what she said she would do.
She was timely and organized for sure. But even more importantly, when I asked her to do something, it was off my list. I didn’t have to worry whether Shelby would remember to do it. She always remembered and it was done right.
2. She had a positive, can-do attitude at all times.
This is not to say she was a pushover. She wasn’t. She was a contributing member to the team, but she saw solutions not problems. For example, if I said, “here is what I am trying to accomplish and I think we should do it X way.” Shelby might respond by saying, “We’ll get that done. With that said, I have seen how sometimes when other people tried X way, it didn’t work, BUT what about Y?”
This is not rocket science, but so few people do these two things, that Shelby was the best intern out of 60+ interns that have worked for me.
Fast-forward, Shelby is a senior and looking for a full-time job. She really wants to be in event planning, which is a job not found at the career center.
One day, I received a call from a principal at a leading VC firm in Texas. He expressed a need for someone to run the YPO chapter of Houston. The Young President’s Organization is considered by many to be the most influential group of CEO’s, executives, and business owners in the world. My friend mentioned that he thought an undergrad probably was not up for the job. On a whole, I completely agreed with him, but he didn’t know Shelby.
Shelby got the job and went on to do phenomenal work for my friend, continuing her personal brand of excellence, just on a bigger stage.
This is what employers are desperate for…this is why they spend thousands of dollars coming to campus and have countless interviews with students. They are trying to figure out your personal brand. My own experience is that it took 60 students to find 1 Shelby.
You have a personal brand whether you know it or not. Be like Shelby. If you are like her, Will Reed will go to the ends of the earth to vouch for you and get you the job of your dreams.
This blog was written by Paige Robinson, the CEO + Founder of Will Reed, in 2015 at the start of the company.