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How to Differentiate Yourself from Your Peers

Published on September 24, 2019, at 10:34 a.m.
by Justine Groeber.

Picture this: You’re quickly nearing graduation and job interviews are looming. You’re involved in several extracurriculars and you study hard, but you are still looking for more that will set you apart. If you’re feeling this all-too-familiar stress, here are three quick and easy ways to make sure you stand out in your applications and interviews.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Stay connected with your connections.
When it comes to networking, I find that quality always beats quantity. Creating meaningful connections with professionals in your field, rather than connecting with everyone you meet, is essential to your career (Forbes). In addition, it is extremely important to make connections with those who will not only advocate for you but also bring value to your experience.

Networking in and of itself is crucial, but in order to reap the benefits of a professional network, you must keep in frequent contact with your connections. Avoid relying solely on email communication when reaching out to your connections. Dorie Clark, the author of “Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future,” encourages professionals to take advantage of every communication tool in their arsenal — everything from a handwritten note to the occasional coffee date.

Create a brand for yourself.
Personal branding is becoming more common, but what exactly does that mean? Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, couldn’t have said it better: “Your brand is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room.”

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

In a Ted Talk titled “Own Your Personal Brand,” Jenni Flinders, a successful businesswoman, emphasized the importance of a strong, consistent personal brand and reminded the audience that, when created effectively, it can be what sets you apart from others. Solid personal branding relies on consistency and authenticity.

Earn your Certificate in Principles of Public Relations.
If you’re looking to take the extra step in differentiating yourself from your peers after graduation, earning your Certificate in Principles of Public Relations is the perfect way to do it. PRSA uses its Stand Out When You Start Out campaign to emphasize the benefits that young PR professionals can reap by adding a professional certificate to their résumés.

PRSA encourages students approaching graduation to earn the Certificate in the Principles of Public Relations, highlighting that the added knowledge attained from this certificate could be the leg up you need when competing with other job candidates.

So in a sea of PR majors, what are you doing to make yourself different from everyone else?

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