Beyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a company, provides employees with direction and motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier. A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising, and logo.
A personal brand is, in many ways, similar to a corporate brand. It is who you are, what you stand for, the values you embrace, and how you express those values. So, as you can tell, having a personal, professional brand is just as important as having a company or corporate brand. Keep in mind that your professional brand must also be memorable.
A lot goes into the making of a memorable professional brand. If you do not define your professional brand, others will. You can strengthen your professional brand by making sure you create a good reputation, networking, making your voice heard in meetings, and attending conferences. Beyond this, your professional brand must be able to make a good impression when you are not present, especially when you are looking to make a career transition.
These are documents you’ll need throughout your career. Tools you need to help you get to the next position. It’s how you show up on paper and online—the first impression. Whether you are looking to grow into the next position, moving companies, or make a complete transition, your professional branding tools must represent you as a professional. Think about what makes you competitive and how you want others to remember you.
There are three simple steps you should take to making sure that you are building a professional and memorable brand.
Step 1: Resume & Cover Letter: Recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing an individual resume. Make them count!
➡️ Resume: Think of how you can seperate yourself from the competition. Recruiters and hiring managers spend an average of 6 seconds browsing at a resume which means you must make them count. Focus on highlighting your accomplishments and write the resume for the job you want. One page if you are just getting started. Two pages for professionals with ten years of experience and three pages for C-Level executives are acceptable.
➡️ Cover Letter: No, this is not old fashioned. Even if they do not require it send it. Even if it’s a fast application online – send a cover letter. PDF your document to include your cover letter and send it as one document. A cover letter is where you tell the recruiter or hiring manager why you’re the person for the job. You compare their requirements with your skills and accomplishments. Show them you’ve done your research and tell them why joining their team would be an excellent fit for both. Keep it to one page.
Step 2: LinkedIn Profile: 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find top-notch candidates. Make your LinkedIn profile match your stellar resume and land the interview you want!
➡️ Let’s face it…we live in a digital age. LinkedIn is the professional site where recruiters and hiring managers go to learn more about you. Make sure you are present and control what others see online. Don’t make them have to Google you. LinkedIn is an extension of your resume. Make sure it aligns and make sure you utilize the space to tell them more about you. Get recommendations from others in your network, have a great headshot, and get creative with your cover photo, have it be relevant so that you can stand out. All of this is important and makes a difference.
Step 3: Interview Preparation: Overcome your fears, refine your pitch, and tackle even the hardest interview questions. Communicate what makes you stand out from the competition and gain the confidence you need to relax at that important interview.
➡️Be prepared…be prepared…be ready. You can have a great resume, but if you do not back it up with a great interview, then it’s useless. Practice your introductions. Practice the questions that are difficult for you. Anticipate what’s going to be asked and get yourself prepared. Preparation includes having questions ready for you to ask the recruiter. Remember that the interview is for both parties. They are interviewing you as much as you should be interviewing them to make sure it’s going to be a great fit. Must I mention that you should look prepared too? What does that mean? Professional at all times. Pull out the jacket or suit even if the company is known to be casual. There is no such thing as being overdressed. Ladies, keep it classy and stay away from low cuts or too tight.
Once you have these tools in place, do not forget to keep them updated. I cannot tell you how many outdated LinkedIn profiles I come across. Imagine how many outdated resumes there are. Is your’s one of them? There is nothing worse than having to rush to update these tools when you are trying to put your name in for a position. Take charge of your career. You don’t have to wait. Be prepared at all times by keeping these tools updated so that you are ready at all times.