Personal Branding and Social Media For Students in Today’s Competitive Job Market


  • Karen M. Hood Eastern Kentucky University
  • Marcel M. Robles Eastern Kentucky University
  • Christopher D. Hopkins Clemson University


Personal branding, Social media, job market


Problem: Because personal branding is important to recruiters and employers when hiring job candidates, business educators must help students develop their personal brand.

Research Questions: This research study addresses the online/offline elements that hiring managers focus on during the recruitment process and how educators can help students integrate these components using pertinent business communication into developing their personal brand.

Research Methods: Study 1 employed analysis of qualitative interviews of human resource professionals. Study 2 consisted of an online survey of recruiters.

Data Analysis: Semiotic analysis of interview transcripts and frequency distribution analysis of survey data revealed trends and empirical results. Findings: Recruiters used social media to include and/or exclude candidates from a search. The majority used LinkedIn profiles to find candidates.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Students need a personal brand to help secure employment in today’s competitive job market. Educators can help students develop their brand using a LinkedIn profile through course assignments.


Arruda, W. (2013). 9 reasons you must update your LinkedIn profile today. Retrieved from

Bullas, J. (2012). 40 significant social media facts, figures and statistics plus 7 infographics. Retrieved from

Gershon, I. (2014). Selling yourself in the United States. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 37(2), 281-295. Retrieved from:

Gillin, P., & Schwartzman, E. (2015). Social marketing to the business customer. Retrieved from

Hopkins C. D., Raymond, M. A., & Carlson, L. (2011). Educating students to give them a sustainable competitive advantage in a weak job market. Journal of Marketing Education, 33, 337-347.

Kaputa, C. (2003). The art of branding. Retrieved November 11, 2003, from

Khedher, M. (2014). Personal branding phenomenon. Business and Management, 6(2), 29-36. Retrieved from:

Lair, D. J., Sullivan, K., & Cheney, G. (2005). Marketization and the recasting of the professional self: The rhetoric and ethics of personal branding. Management Communication Quarterly, 18(3), 307-343.

LinkedIn. (2015, June 10). About Us LinkedIn Newsroom. Retrieved from

McCorkle, D. E., Alexander, J. F., & Diriker, M. F. (1992). Developing self-marketing skills for student career success, Journal of Marketing Education, 14(1), 57-67.

McCorkle, D. E., Alexander, J. F., Reardon, J., & Kling, N. D. (2003). Developing self-marketing skills: Are marketing students prepared for the job search? Journal of Marketing Education, 25(3) 196-207.

Montoya, P. (2002). The personal branding phenomenon. London: Oxford Personal Branding Press.

Ollington, N., Gibb, J., & Harcourt, M. (2013). Online social networks: An emergent recruiter tool for attracting and screening. Personnel Review, 42(3), 248-265.

Paik, L. S., Shahani-Denning, C., & Griffeth, R. W. (2014). An examination of attractiveness biases in the context of hiring through social networking sites. Journal of Organizational Psychology, 14(1), 52-66. Retrieved from

Parmentier, M. A., Fischer, E., & Reuber, A. R. (2013). Positioning person brands in established organizational fields. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(3), 373-387.

Peluchette, J., & Karl, K. (2010). Examining students’ intended image on Facebook: ‘What were they thinking?!,’ Journal of Education for Business, 85(1), 30-37.

Peters, T. (1997, August 31). The brand called you. Fast Company, 10(10), 83-87. Retrieved from

Peters, T. (1999). The brand you 50. New York: Knopf.

Peterson, E. A. (2014). Business strategies for managing the legal risks of social media. Journal of Management and Sustainability, 4(3), 96-101. doi: 10.5539/jms.v4n3p96

Poeppelman, T., & Blacksmith, N. (2014). Personal branding via social media: Increasing SIOP visibility one member at a time. TIP: The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 51(3), 112-119. Retrieved from:

Rampersad, H. K. (2008). A new blueprint for powerful and authentic personal branding. Performance Improvement, 47(6), 34-37.

Rascon, Y. (2014). Expert advice: 8 tips for building your personal brand. Nerdwallet. Retrieved from:

Raymond, M. A., Carlson, L., & Hopkins, C. D. (2006). Identifying and evaluating the skills that marketing graduates need for entry-level sales positions: Perceptions of marketing practitioners. Journal of Marketing Education, 28(1), 43-55.

Roberts, C. (2009, July 14). Hey kids, Facebook is forever. Retrieved from

Robles, M. (2015). The strategic use of social networking in hiring practices: Or is it social media harassment? In L. Soule (Ed.) Refereed Proceedings for the Association for Business Information Systems Conference. Houston, TX.

SHRM. (2012). HR discipline of technology and communications. Managing and Leveraging Workplace Use of Social Media. Retrieved from

Smith, C. (2015, January 16). Digital marketing ramblings: The latest digital marketing stats, tips, trends, and technology. Retrieved from

Smith, K. H. (2004). Implementing the “Marketing You” project in large sections of principles of marketing. Journal of Marketing Education, 26(2), 123-136.

Stanton, A. D., & Stanton, W. W. (2013). Building “Brand Me”: Creating a personal brand statement. Marketing Education Review, 23(1), 81-86.

Swallow, E. (2011). How recruiters use social networks to screen candidates. Retrieved from

United States Census Bureau Geography Division. (2015). Census regions and divisions of the United States. Retrieved from

Van Dijck, J. (2013). “You have one identity”: Performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture, & Society, 35, 199-215.

Waldman, J. (2011). Job searching with social media for dummies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Ward, C., & Yates, D. (2013). Personal branding and e-professionalism. Journal of Service Science, 6(1), 101-104. Retrieved from




How to Cite

Hood, K. M., Robles, M. M., & Hopkins, C. D. (2014). Personal Branding and Social Media For Students in Today’s Competitive Job Market. Journal of Research In Business Education, 56(2), 33-47.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 23

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.