Oh, So You Have a 4.0 GPA? I Have My Confidence and Leadership.
On April 21, 2012, the HACE Collegiate Chapters held their very first Spring 2012 Leadership Day. Though only three chapters were able to attend, the day was sure to be beneficial to all in attendance, learning new information correlating with everyone’s individual interests. The event began with an overview of HACE as a whole, presenting an in-depth look at the mission of the non-profit organization to new HACE Collegiate Leaders. After a brief semester overview led by each HACE Chapter President, the day unfolded with the most important part of program, the Resume and Branding workshops. As we all know, there is never a ‘perfect’ resume. All resumes, whether be a professional’s or student’s resume, are always subject to change and develop in such a way that reflects our personal accomplishments.
Though all information regarding resumes is clearly beneficial and helpful to us all, the workshop that caught my attention was the Branding workshop, facilitated by Cristina Benitez, an experienced advertising executive and director of the Latino Media and Communication program in DePaul’s College of Communication. Many of us may focus countless hours on developing our resumes, making sure that it accurately reflects our goals and accomplishments, that we forget an important aspect of the resume; it’s still, only, a piece of paper. We cannot rely solely on our resume to land a job. We need to add our own personal touch to the way we interact with potential employers; and in order to be successful at that, we must know who we are and what our personal brand is. Your own personal brand is something that can never be common or duplicated, and tells the employer who you are, what you can offer and how they can benefit from your presence.
Personal branding includes knowing your personal background, personality attributes (those which you are and those which you are not), speaking style, visual appearance, personal mission and most importantly, your story. Your story is one that is yours and yours alone, presenting the employer with who you are and how you came to be. Though these aspects are vital for an individual to successfully develop their personal brand, there are two key features that we all need in order to accomplish these tasks. Those features are confidence and leadership.
Being able to successfully create and develop our personal brand means that we know who we are and who we are not. It means that we know how we want to impact the world, took the time to figure it out and know exactly what we have to do to get there. Being confident in who we are and what we can offer helps us understand our strengths and weaknesses. Being confident in who we are lets us forget about comparing our accomplishments with another’s, because we know that our skills and attributes mean more than that 4.0 GPA. Being a leader shows spectators that we’re confident in what we do and that we can accomplish anything that we set our mind to. Being a leader lets us spring forwards to do what needs to be done, without having the fear of failure. Being a confident leader helps us understand that even if we do fail, there will always be more opportunities to overshadow that failure and we shouldn’t be held back by it. Being a confident leader lets us stand out in a crowd full of potential employees, because we don’t need potential employers to tell us if we’re good enough for the job. We know we’re more than qualified and will show them that we are.
Confidence and leadership is what can make us all stand out. Credentials, accomplishments and experience all make our resumes look attractive. But in the end, the employer does not hire the paper, the employer hires you. Confidence and leadership exist within us all, but it is up to the individual to acknowledge their presence and put them to good use.
Erick S. Lopez
H.A.C.E at UIC Treas. 2012
Psi Chi Event & Publicity Chm. 2011-2012 Psychology Undergraduate
University of Illinois at Chicago