Lab 2:

Build Your Professional Presence

Topics covered in this lab:

  • Personal Branding
  • LinkedIn & Online Networking
  • Resume Writing
  • Cover Letter Writing
  • Email Etiquette

Personal Branding

Why is personal branding so important?

Jenni Flinders tells it best. We all know that first impressions are crucial, especially in the job search. Your image, your personal brand, and your ability to behave professionally are all integral parts of that coveted "great first impression." Learn more in Jenni's TEDTalk: Own Your Personal Brand.

Once you've finished her TEDTalk, scroll down for a quick reflection exercise!

Questions to ask yourself while discovering your personal brand, according to Jenni Flinders...

Click on each question to get a little more inspiration for your answers!

  • What am I really passionate about? What do I love doing?

    It's a basic question, but it can be a tough one. When you think about jobs, projects, skills, past activities, etc., think about the ones you enjoyed the most. As an MMC student, we know you are an ambitious and passionate person. So, just think, what lights that fire under you?

  • What are my strongest attributes?

    You should have already taken the CliftonStrengths assessment, so you might have a good idea of your top strengths. Use those strengths to start your list of top attributes. But let's think outside the box a bit. Why do you make people smile? What do you specifically contribute to a team?

  • What sets you apart?

    Think back to your greatest attributes. What makes you different? What have others told you makes you stand out? Whatever it is, own it.

  • If we asked you to summarize yourself in a 2-minute story, what would you say?

    Think about it! What captures you best? What experiences have lead you to the wonderful person and professional you are today? Personal branding is all about being able to tell a story. So what's yours?

  • How do others perceive you?

    If we asked your friends, family, co-workers, peers, etc., what would they say? Would they describe you the same way you are describing yourself? If you don't know or aren't sure, ask! Their perspective can be very valuable.

Personal Branding Activity

Personal SWOT Analysis

The SWOT Analysis is a reflection exercise typically used in the context of business strategy, but conducting a personal SWOT Analysis can help us better understand ourselves and our brands!

Please click here to fill out the Personal SWOT Analysis Worksheet to better understand your personal brand.

You are encouraged to make an appointment with a career counselor OR send your completed sheet over to to reflect on your Personal SWOT.

Note: All reflection activities are available as downloadable worksheets in the "Quick-Access Resources" section.

LinkedIn & Online Networking

First step! Let's get you started on LinkedIn

Create a linkedin account

More information about LinkedIn basics below.

What Is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a professional social media site that allows you to continually update your professional profile, track your involvement in on-campus extracurricular organizations and off-campus employment/volunteer work, build and maintain your professional network, and find others in your target interest areas through use of groups.

Who is on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has over 60 million users ranging from first-year college students to CEOs, Presidents and other leaders across virtually all economic, professional and educational sectors.

When should I start using LinkedIn?

The short answer: now.

The long answer: Building up a professional profile that takes into account all of your extracurricular and pre-professional experience takes time. You ideally want to begin building a presence on LinkedIn well before you are ready to start an internship, job or graduate school search.

Why should I start using LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the BEST resource for broadcasting your professional identity via the internet and using this identity to create and maintain a professional network.

Now that you've made your account, let's learn some best practices.

Maximize Your LinkedIn & Stand Out Online

Check out our Spring 2020 Career Summit Keynote Speaker, Emily Miethner, Founder/CEO of FindSpark speak about LinkedIn & online networking!

When you are finished, test your knowledge with our post-presentation quiz below!

LinkedIn & Online Networking Activity

Finished watching Emily's presentation?

Building an Online Portfolio

Creating an engaging online protfolio to showcase your creative talents can be a great way to boost your online presence. Marymount Manhattan College has partnered with to help support you in the creation of your online portfolio.

Wix is a completely free tool that allows you to showcase photos and videos, upload your resume, create a blog, and so much more! If you are an entrepreneur, you can even use Wix to create a website for your business.

Build your Online Portfolio today!

Sign up for free:

Never built a website before?

Start by watching the Build Your Website with Wix Editor course on WixLearn!

    Resume Writing

    Brand new to resume-writing?

    Start by listing all your experiences in our Resume Builder Worksheet.

      Then, move on to our Resume Writing Guide and check out our resources below to learn how to put it all together.

      Hint: Once you're finished, scroll down to access our Sample Resume in a Word doc to use as a template!

          Are you ready to get started?

          Download our sample resume in a Word document and fill in your own information.

            Cover Letter Writing

            Start with the Cover Letter Writing Guide.

              Email Etiquette