Chloe Anagnos writes for the Martin Center about an important omission from the typical college education.

Every college student knows that, once they graduate, landing the job of their dreams isn’t going to just happen. Yet, students still downplay the difficulties they will face, either because they don’t understand the job market or because they put too much stock in their skills, thinking that the competition won’t stand a chance.

The reality is that in a world shaped by the internet, students must learn some basic self-marketing skills to stand out in their field. Ignoring the need to have a strong professional presence—on- and offline—won’t do you any favors.

So, the job for you, the enterprising student preparing for life after college, is to develop some job skills that colleges won’t give you.

Creating a lasting first impression is essential in any line of business. To do that online, you must develop and establish your personal brand. But first, you have to know what a personal brand is and what it isn’t.

Personal branding is the practice of marketing yourself and your career as a brand. It involves an ongoing process of developing and maintaining your image. Personal branding isn’t about creating a version of yourself, but about exploring your best qualities, passions, and work experience to develop your own unforgettable online image.