Ferraro said that there are four components to a person’s brand: appearance, personality, competencies and the differentiator. The differentiator, or what sets a person apart from other job seekers, can be found by sitting down and evaluating strengths.
Patrick Bagge, a freshman physics major and international student from Denmark, attended the event and wants to find his differentiator.
“Now I know that it’ll be a good idea to just sit down and think about what sets me apart from everyone else,” Bagge said. He can speak English, Danish, German and Swedish.
According to an article from Careeralism.com, creating a public domain in a person’s name can act as a differentiator in itself. Instead of using a Word document or a binder, a career portfolio can be easily viewed online through a public domain. While it is not free to create a public domain, the article stated that it is “relatively inexpensive” to purchase one and that the benefits of having one can outweigh the cost.
For students to make a better impact on their brand while they are still on college, Ferraro suggests to meet deadlines and arrive to class on time. She also suggests being aware of how students carry themselves in conversations with professors and classmates to build a better personal brand.
“When [students] come up to an employer . . . they are uncomfortable because they haven’t been exposed to that before,” Ferraro said. “The takeaway I always want students to have is to just to put five points in your pocket, five strengths of yours that when a question is asked, you could immediately say, ‘This is something that I’m really proud of that I do here,’ or ‘This is one of the skills that I’ve learned from my job previously, or ‘Because I’m a leader in this organization, I’ve been able to achieve this.’”
The Career Center at USF offers resume and cover letter help to students and also provides access to employers who are hiring in the area, but Ferraro said that most students wait until after they graduate to utilize it.
“Unfortunately, that is when a lot of students come to the career center, because the campus culture is that you don’t come until you’re ready to graduate,” Ferraro said. “After graduation, for three months you still have the services that you would have as a member. . . [Students] always come after, which is the hardest part because you do pay an alumni fee.”
The alumni fee is $50.
To make an appointment with the Career Center, go to room SVC 2088 in the Student Services Building, within the hours of 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday.