Building Your Brand Offline

This week, we chatted about how to market yourself face-to-face. The Web allows you unlimited space to explain your skills, describe professional development experiences, and display your personal and professional portfolio, but when you’re at a career fair or somewhere else where you’re looking to make an impression, you have a little less room to spare: you have to do things differently.

In the video, we discuss your resume, business cards, cover letters and portfolio. But there are a few other things to keep in mind in terms of keeping your “personal brand” consistent offline and marketing yourself successfully to potential future collaborators or employers.

  • Professional personal appearance- We’ve all heard it before, but taking pride in maintaining a professional personal appearance really is important. They say that the first things people notice about you are your teeth, nails and shoes— so keep them all clean and in good shape! Dress appropriately for every given situation while still maintaining your personal style, and keep in mind who you’ll be working with or meeting and how they might be dressed in terms of forming guidelines for the right attire.
  • Voicemail message- So you hand out your business card at an event, forget about it, and two weeks later the internship or job of your dreams becomes available and someone gives you a call. But you’re not there, and after a minute of your Jay-Z ringback tone they hear you beatboxing and then talking like a robot. Chances are, that internship position is probably gone (unless the caller has a lot sof time and a unique sense of humor). Try a simple, “You’ve reached [you're name] at [your number]. I’m not here right now, but please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for your call.” Voila!
  • Email signature- Be conscious of who you’re sending an email to and how you should sign emails. It’s probably safe to set a standard signature with your name, title, and contact information, but you may want to add, subtract and modify depending on who you’re sending an email to. Potential employer? Tack your home page URL at the end. Know the recipient’s a graduate of your school? Perhaps have “University of X student” somewhere in there. Skip the fluff unless you know someone specifically will appreciate it and keep it concise, clean and professional.

What are some of your suggestions for maintaining your professional appearance offline? Send them to us at, and we’ll discuss them on the next episode.

-Erica and Derek

Related posts:

  1. Building Your Brand in Class
  2. Maintaining Offline and Online Consistency
  3. Building a Brand, not a Business

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  • Dan Schawbel

    Dan Schawbel, the founder of the Student Branding Blog, is a world renowned personal branding expert, the international bestselling author of Me 2.0, as well as the publisher of the Personal Branding Blog.

  • Connect With Dan

  • Chelsea Rice

    Chelsea Rice is the editor-in-chief of the Student Branding Blog. She began her work for just before graduating from Boston University, where she studied journalism and minored in international relations.

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