Thank you to Sandra Collins of Totally You Consulting who has written this blog for us. It may seem obvious to many but it surprising how we do not always remember to think about our “Brand” in this way – especially at job interviews – and yet in today’s job market that is exactly what is required.
Would you be able to describe your brand (that is – who you are and what you are about) to a future employer or a new client? If you don’t know who you are and how you want to be seen how can others make the right assessment of you?
Do you know how you are perceived by others? Have you asked?
When we meet people for the first time, as much as we would like to deny it, they will make a judgement and that will happen within the first 7 – 30 seconds – how much time does that give you to tell them about yourself? First impressions are critical, you are marketing a product – YOU!
Think about how you want to be seen.
1. Do you know your personality type? Knowing this will not put you in a ‘box’ it will give you the tools to work with your strengths. Do you tend towards introversion? If so how can you use this thoughtful approach? If you are more extrovert, how can you use your great communication to best advantage without over whelming?
2. Do you know your personal values? If you understand what really matters to you it will help you choose the right career and look for the most suitable employers for you.
3. Have you really considered carefully how you dress? What does what you wear say about you? There is a chance, if we all dress in dark suits white shirts and for men sober ties we become clones and loose our personal impact. In the current market you need to fit in enough to be accepted and stand out enough to have that extra edge!
The best approach would be to research the dress code of the organisation or client you are meeting. Then dress one step up from their everyday dress code. This will ensure that you fit in, but also show that you have made an effort. Don’t forget that it is important to retain you own personal style as well, this can be done through colour – subtle style elements to your clothes or by the accessories you choose. You can express your personality through your style!
Lastly on the appearance front – grooming is vital! From combing your hair to polishing your shoes! More tips here.
Ladies – did you know that research suggests that women who wear well applied subtle make up are paid 23% higher than those who wear none!
Gentlemen – Facial hair is now seen as more acceptable in business, but concealing the lips and mouth is still a barrier to good communication. If you are going for a beard or stubble, you’ll need to spend more time, not less, on grooming!
4. What about your body language – how do you communicate when you first meet someone? How firm is your handshake? Do you make good eye contact? Do you sit and stand confidently? Most importantly – do you smile – with your eyes too!
5. Finally – you have made a fantastic first impression you have shown that you have thought about the culture of the organisation or client you are meeting, they can see that you will indeed fit in and are able to retain and express your own personality, so now is the time to clearly express your skill strengths that align so well with the job that is on offer.
Take time to look at ‘Brand You’ whether you are changing employers, moving up through an organisation or working for yourself, understanding your brand and how others see you will lead to more inner confidence and greater personal success!