Education is a brand: Lets face it. Education is a brand these days. The phenomenon of college rankings started in the last century. “Where we get our best men?,” and “A study of British genius” were the fore bearers of today’s ranking studies in the early 1900’s. Today college rankings have attained a mythical, elevated status. For students to secure a seat in the top colleges is nothing short of a miraculous achievement, a result of hard work and smart selling of oneself. Rankings are also sliced and diced by many parameters. A college could have an overall ranking of 500, but can be the no 1 in placements in a specific region. Colleges, especially the newer ones, spend a lot on branding and highlighting their USP to attract students.
Student Engagement: Student engagement with the college brand is very high these days. The engagement stems no less from the intensive branding, money invested, in addition to the usual engagement reasons of bonding with teachers and other students. The families are also invested in these brands. As a result, for a long time, one tends to associate the particular student with the specific education brand, say Sam is from Harvard. It is but natural for awe and a twitch of jealousy to creep into that statement.
What really works?: Why would we in career services speak about student engagement with college brand? As leaders in the workforce, we notice that individuals with strong college brands, tend to more often than not, carry that brand halo, way longer than needed. Your college may have got the doors for the first few interviews opened. After that, it’s just another indicator of your achievement drive. It cannot be the key definitive parameter in your career. Applied learning from textbooks and beyond, team work & collaboration, being at the right place at the right time are some of the new parameters which will work for you.
What does this mean for your resume? :Your resume needs to highlight what value you bring to the table? Your work experience, education, certifications need to translate into tangible skills. Your work experience needs to be the star of the resume. Education, certifications now need to move to the end. This is what the hiring manager looking for the next star in her team is looking for. Is your resume ready to let go of your branded education?
Note: The author herself has all the right marquee brands!! I am passionate about helping individuals maximize their career potential. With over 15 years of HR leadership experience, I offer a professional, personalized and affordable resume refresh experience.