In a highly competitive market where hiring managers and HR departments are receiving hundreds of applications daily, how can a recent graduate stand out with an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, a.k.a “the resume?”

The reality is that graduating students must consider different ways to present themselves online. Here at the Office of Career Services, we talk frequently about the importance of building a professional brand in-person and online. Simply put, students who can tell their story and weave it into their professional goals are more likely to land a job right out of school.

The Marketing program here at Stevenson is trying to answer that exact question by asking students to think differently about what a professional brand is, and how they can create unique and interesting ways to stand out. Takisha Toler, Assistant Professor for Marketing and Business Administration, asked her class to build a digital resume that could be hosted on their website, LinkedIn profile, or sent as a link to a recruiter along with the traditional resume.

Students chose to build their presentations with many tools including PowerPoint and Prezi. Some even created their own videos.

They were given the following guidelines:

  • present an overview of skills;
  • highlight interests outside of the classroom;
  • consider reflecting the cultural fit that best matches their career interests;
  • choose music without lyrics that sets the appropriate mood for the visual story;
  • and end the presentation with social media and contact information.

Once the students finalized their visual stories, R2integrated’s Digital Marketing team came to the classroom for the student presentations to critique the digital resumes and give feedback to students about what could be improved.

The exercise gave students the opportunity to put together their discipline expertise to build their professional brand, learning to tell their own story. Hearing feedback directly from industry experts was invaluable to the process as they got to experience firsthand from a hiring manager how the choices they made in their presentation could negatively and positively affect an employer’s perception of a candidate during the hiring process.

Stay tuned for the next blog post showcasing student work.

Posted by Jennifer Marin