Branding yourself is not just for cows anymore, apparently

Every week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff.

Entering college, many students meet difficult tasks, like declaring a major and ultimately figuring out their place in the professional world.

Students are pressured to develop their brand and figure out how they are going to present themselves in an interview and how to persuade employers that they have something worth investing in.

Students are essentially being asked to sell themselves to employers.

They have to pick and choose the personality traits that they deem marketable and spin them in a way that is acceptable to an employer.

For the introverted, but clever and hardworking types, this can be difficult because they cannot exactly say that they easily build rapport with others — an attribute that is extremely valuable to others.

That process of developing personality traits into a brand is not easy. It is exhausting, and can make students feel like they are not unique.

How are students supposed to perceive themselves as unique when there are 10 other “unique” people who “work well with others,” “pay attention to detail,” and are “proficient in Microsoft Word,” and some of them have found better ways to market themselves than you have?

While encouraging students to brand themselves is a great way to help them realize their marketable traits, the process can be damaging especially during college years when most students don’t exactly know who they are or who they want to be.

How can you brand yourself when you don’t know yourself?

Of course, students get clever with the process of marketing themselves.

They realize that they can use their Capstones by marketing their topics to fit the interests of jobs and fellowships.

They twist the reality of their internships to fit their brand, they feign rapport to get recommendation letters, and to what extent is it all genuine?

The pressure on students to brand themselves highlights the presentation over the content and as a result, great students get overlooked in place of students who are good at embellishing.

The more students work to brand themselves, the more and more it seems as though they are faking it until they make it.