Personal branding – The golden ticket for grads aiming to land their first job

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PwC kicks off first-ever Personal Brand Week in Canada

TORONTO, Mar. 5, 2012— The millennial generation (born between 1980-2000) are entering employment in great numbers and will form 50% of the global workforce by 2020 according to a recent PwC report, Millennials at work – Reshaping the workplace. To help university and college students stand out from a sea of graduates looking to land their first job, PwC Canada launched its inaugural Personal Brand Week today with the hopes of helping students build their personal brand for professional success.

A personal brand is the ‘X’ factor that differentiates a person from other job candidates. It begins with being self aware of one’s achievements, knowledge, skills and outlook on goals. Presentation is key and with the current techno-savvy generation, it’s about the interactions and presence job candidates have in person as well as online.

 “It’s important for students to accurately portray themselves online as they would in-person,” says Mr. Davidson, Talent Acquisition Manager, Campus, at PwC Canada.  “Having a profile you wouldn’t be ashamed to show your parents on all of the major social networks—LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Profiles—is the first step in managing your online reputation.”

Indeed, one of the defining characteristics of the millennial age group is their affinity with the digital world. The millennial report indicated that 41% of millennials prefer to communicate electronically at work than face-to-face. 

Likewise, candidates can view companies’ social media tools to learn more about an organization.  “A company website, blog, Facebook or LinkedIn page can help applicants discover more about its corporate values, work environment, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices,” says Mr. Davidson.

Millennials are a diverse group made up of individuals from different ethnic, educational and socio-economic backgrounds.  Organizations must recognize and accommodate this diversity within the work environment.

According to the millennial report in 2008, 88% of respondents questioned said they were looking for an employer with CSR values that reflected their own. The brands that appeal to young people as consumers include those that stress their environment and social record, are the same brands that appeal to them as employers.

Networking like it’s your job

While some millennials (72%) have made compromises to get into work during the economic downturn, networking has become an essential tool to connect students to the right professional contacts in this uncertain climate.

Mr. Davidson says, “Throughout Personal Brand Week, graduates will learn that they may not land their ideal job right away, but networking and building relationships with key contacts helps students get closer to their dream job.”

“People often think about networking if they need something—a job, a reference, some advice—but they don’t think about how their relationships directly shape them as a professional,” says Mr. Davidson. “If you only pay attention to your network when it’s convenient, your relationships won’t be very strong and your personal brand and career development will suffer.”

Personal Brand Week

PwC Canada launched Personal Brand Week on its Recruiting Facebook page to interact directly with the social media savvy millennial generation. Already a successful initiative for PwC USA, PwC Canada’s Personal Brand Week will take place from March 5-9, 2012 online and offline and will include:

  • A collaboration “hub” on PwC’s Recruiting Facebook page where students will have the opportunity to participate in discussions, ask questions, watch videos, make connections, and learn how to build a strong personal brand
  • Access to an E-book consisting of interactive tools, worksheets and tips to help students elevate their personal brand

Join the discussion on PwC’s Recruiting Facebook page: www.pwc.com/ca/campusfacebook

Follow PwC Canada Personal Brand Week on Twitter at @PwC_ca_campus

About PwC Canada

PwC Canada helps organizations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. More than 5,700 partners and staff in offices across the country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is a member of the PwC network of firms with close to 169,000 people in 158 countries. Find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/ca.

© 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership. All rights reserved.

PwC refers to the Canadian member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.