Building your personal brand in a disrupted graduate job market

"My confidence is building everyday"

How do you stand out when you’re competing against thousands of students... with the same degree?

Added to that, how do you stand out when you know businesses aren’t hiring as much… because there’s a global pandemic happening? 

Hallie is a 3rd year university student who is studying psychology and really wants to land a job in digital communications. 

She - like tens of thousands of final year students - was expecting to graduate this summer.

Then COVID-19 hit. 

Students everywhere were impacted. University campuses closed. Lectures moved online. 

All of a sudden, you’re separated from your housemates, your lecturers, those awesome people in the students’ union: in other words, your support network. 

That internship you’d spent so long gearing up for has been put on hold. That network you’d spent so much time building, ready for when you graduated, has suddenly gone silent. All, whilst you’d just started to figure out what it was you were going to do with your life. 

So, how do you bounce back and do everything you can to increase your chances of employment when we’re ‘back to normal’?

Hallie’s a great example of how to adjust to a new situation, despite everything you’ve been working towards being put on hold. 

Here's how, by using Careercake content, she now has a better understanding of how to hold the attention of future employers, keep her personal brand ship shape, and adjust to what the market throws at her. 

Changing career direction and building a personal brand in a disrupted jobs market.

Mission impossible?

Hallie’s situation is an all to common one. She’d applied to study a discipline and then, when learning a bit more about herself and what she would like to achieve in her career, she’s chosen to pursue a different route. 

This has resulted in her feeling anxious about her career path, and following current restrictions, she’s finding it difficult to learn how best to get from point A to point B. The source of her anxiety? She feels she's at a slight disadvantage compared to those students already studying the field she wants to get into. 

“When I first started looking for jobs, I felt intimidated. I felt like my experience was not up to scratch. My confidence was knocked and I questioned my ability to even get experience in the field, never mind getting a job.

“The biggest challenge that I anticipate when starting a career is feeling that my skill set is not as good as other candidates or employees. Despite trying to gain as much experience as I can, I feel that I am still disadvantaged”.

Building on the awesome: Learning to build on your strengths 

Careercake's bitesize learning advice, created around the challenges I'm facing, helps boost my motivation and self-confidence building throughout this

Hallie tells us that COVID-19 has turned her world upside down. Alongside a new type of job search and a cancelled work experience placement, she’s other things to contend with, too.  

“Exams and assignments for my final year of university have completely changed. I’ve moved back home – something I never thought that I would do. After graduation, my goal was to gain some work experience in the field, network and then bag my dream job. However, with graduation being postponed and my assessments changing, I’m finding it difficult to apply for jobs as I cannot predict the near future”. 

Hallie subscribes to our video careers content, packed with over 100 videos to help take on the career firsts. Some of the videos she’s watched include How to manage your personal brand as well as the titles aimed at thriving once you start your new job or begin work experience, such as Overcoming Phone Phobia.

“Careercake has reminded me of the value of my transferable skills no matter what previous experience I have. This has increased my self-confidence and encouraged me to seek opportunities which I originally believed to be unattainable” she says. 

“I had started to build a personal brand for myself to take advantage of career opportunities and drive career advancement. Knowing what my personal brand is has allowed me to be more self-aware by understanding my strengths, weaknesses and knowing what differentiates me from many other candidates for job opportunities. 

What is it specifically about Careercake’s videos that have helped you to build your personal brand in such a disrupted market?

“Careercake experts make daunting tasks like speaking on the phone seem achievable for everyone. This has given me the confidence to not shy away from the things I initially felt uncomfortable doing. They explain things in ways that make sense and show that you are not alone in the worries that you have”. 

So, what’s next for, Hallie?

“Even though I feel that there are fewer opportunities for me to develop my skills now, I am taking this as an opportunity to develop a plan of action for my personal brand. Taking some time to acknowledge where I am now, where I want to be in the future and how I can get there has made my career path goals much clearer”.


Be more Hallie. Sign up for your free 14 day trial to watch unlimited careers content aimed at helping you land that graduate job (and thrive once you're there). 

And, if you’re in the business of supporting students, why not take a look at the online courses we have available. (They’re all video-based, so there's no need to redesign your training when you can get it online with Careercake). 

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