In my last post I discussed how students can use off-campus internship experiences to demonstrate that they are ready for the workforce. In this post, I want to review three important pieces of communication: a personal statement, a value proposition and one word. Each of these three communication pieces play a critical role in helping students demonstrate their value to prospective employers as well as others.
In order to intentionally create their future following graduation, students who participate in off-campus programs can use their eco-adventures, volunteer experiences, study-abroad semesters or internship placement to help build these three critical communication pieces.
- A personal statement summarizes in 75 words or less what a student offers prospective employers or collaborators. Please do realize that a personal statement takes time to craft, needs constant revision and allows the student to generate the other two communication pieces: a value proposition and their one word.
- A value proposition is a phrase that consists of seven words or less that is derived from the personal statement and that highlights key words. This should be included in all cover letters as well as the front of all personalized business cards that students should create.
- A one word description allows students the opportunity to focus on one word that best describes them. This one word can also serve as an excellent discussion topic during interviews.
For examples of students who have built personal statements, value propositions and one word, please click here. You will note that on each student's web page there is a personal statement, value proposition and one word. They each spent a tremendous amount of time over the course of several weeks assessing their personal traits and professional skills and then built a personal brand based on their analysis. Students working on these communication pieces should recall the words of Enrique Jardiel Poncela:
“When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.”
The personal statement, value proposition and one word all help form the cornerstone of all of a consistent, concise and compelling communication platform that students can then use as they apply for employment position, launch their own venture or apply to graduate school. Click here to learn more about how to create these three communication pieces.
Note: The ABCs of Marketing Yourself is now available as an e-book. Click here for more information.
"Discover Your Value (DYV)" is a 14-part blog series that helps individuals learn how to communicate their value to others with an emphasis on their international experience. Michael Edmondson, Ph.D., is the Director of Marketing and Recruitment for The Philadelphia Center. He and Peter Abramo, Ph.D., are the authors of The ABCs of Marketing Yourself: A Workbook for College Students, upon which this series of blog posts is based. You can follow Michael on Twitter at @ThinkActGrow.