Rhea Faniel urged students to be savvy self promoters By Shannon Steck
Rhea Faniel, an associate director of recruitment, placement & external relations at the City College Career & Professional Development Institute, visited Professor Linda Villarosa’s Intro to Journalism class recently, to relay career, branding and resume advice to undergraduate students.
Lively and driven, Faniel opened the discussion with the proclamation that she’s lived three lives, each reflecting a different chapter in her own career journey. A well established research and placement professional, Faniel spent her first two “lives” working for Verizon and Pfizer, but she considers CCNY her most important job.
Passionately placing students on a path to success, Faniel’s impact at CCNY transcends professional boundaries. She refers to the students who have previously entered her office as her “babies,” and adds touch of the personal in her work.
The self proclaimed “rebranding queen,” Faniel pointed out that branding has gone digital, far beyond personal statements on paper resumes. Social media exists as not only an informal platform used to communicate with friends and family, but also functions as a formal professional branding tool. “You need to be social media savvy,” said Faniel, who boasts of over 900 connections on LinkedIn. “That’s gonna separate you from people who are just pure writers.”
Faniel believes that students must promote and brand themselves to stand out, with LinkedIn and digital portfolios dominating the professional landscape. “I keep myself basic,” Faniel said, when elaborating on her digitized branding statement. “Use a professional picture.”
Passionate about her work, Faniel’s upbeat attitude entertained the class. She punctuated employment tips with quick witted jokes and anecdotes about her past as a food service worker and connected with her audience, something important to do when working with students, especially millennials. Current and competent, Faniel reminded students to keep resumes and social media profiles current. “It shifts, it changes,” remarked Faniel as she spoke of self-created brands. “You add to it.”
Leaving room for change and adaptation to the ever-evolving digital market, Faniel, and her students,
have the tools to attack the future, one self-evolving brand at a time.