Image is Everything!
Do you remember the old Canon camera commercials of the 1990′s? I think Andre Agassi had it right: Image is Everything. Today, brand image is also a vital part of any job seekers success. To garner notice and win the job in today’s challenging job market means positioning yourself as the best of brand ; doing things better and more efficiently than your competition. Being the best of brand means being innovative, effective, high quality, a problem solver, and offering something that employers want and need. You create demand for your product by doing things better than your competition. It holds true for top brands like Apple and Amazon.com, and it holds true for you too.
Career Coach Donald Strankowski from Ascend Career & Life Strategies explains.
Selling yourself as someone who can simply “do the job” is not nearly good enough. With some minor adjustments, any job seeker can implement a plan to improve their brand image. And in today’s highly-competitive job market, it’s only the best of brand candidates that will get noticed and ultimately get hired.
Here are 3 Brand Image Types job seekers need to be aware of when building their brand and increasing their marketability:
1- Personal Brand Image
This is the brand type you carry with you in all business interactions. It describes the way you look, act, talk, and your overall attitude. This is the single most important brand image you have because you are being judged every time you interact with another individual. Three key areas job seekers need to consider when enhancing their Personal Brand Image:
Attire: Are your clothes out of date? Are they wrinkled or frumpy? Looking disheveled or like you walked out of 1977 can be the kiss of death during a job interview, career fair, when meeting a person of influence, or when attending a networking event. Take a field trip to Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, or any other softline retailer with a solid reputation for fashion insight. Ask the sales associates what the latest business attire trends are, and then watch for sales and promotions.
Grooming: Choose a hair style that’s both contemporary and professional. Nails are trimmed, neat, and clean. Facial hair for men is discouraged, but if you must keep the beard, ensure it’s presentable. Investing a few dollars on a teeth whitening product is also a good idea. Ladies, heavy makeup is not necessary and can be distracting. Walk the middle road and let your accomplishments—not the bright blue eye shadow—make an impact.
Lip speak: You don’t have to speak the Queen’s English but slang, street lingo, mispronouncing words, and improper use of grammar is just plain unprofessional. Sound like a professional when describing yourself in providing value for an organization. Listen to any network news anchor. They speak in a personable yet professional tone. They do a good job of conveying information to people of all backgrounds and educational levels in a proficient, clear, and likeable manner. You should do the same.
2- Written Brand Image
How do your communication documents read? Are your emails and correspondence well-written? Or are you someone who communicates in all low case, nonsensical acronyms, and throws caution to the wind when considering grammar and capitalization? How about your resume? Is it a high-quality and high-impact marketing document that’s free of errors? The answers to all of these questions describe your Written Brand Image. It covers all types of business communications from the simple and mundane to the mission critical. Strong communication skills are essential today in just about any type of profession. Ensure everything you produce in the written form is of high-quality, well versed, and mistake free.
3- eBrand Image
According to a recent article in the New York Times, 75% of recruiters are required to screen online. What are they looking for? The answer: information, both positive and negative. All online information as it relates to you comprises your eBrand Image. Blogs, message boards, and especially social media and social networking sites all count. What other people, maybe even some of your friends, have to say and show about you on their sites also qualifies. So what comes up on a Google search under your name? If you’re a professional, you probably have a LinkedIn and maybe even a Twitter account. Do they brand you as a high-quality professional or are they confusing, erratic or incomplete? Is your main Facebook picture tame or risqué? Anything that you can control on the internet like blogs and social networking sites should be used to build your brand and enhance your image. Offer tips, advice and recommendations about your occupation and/or industry. Blogs can now be set up for free at Google Blogger.
Build your online brand by positioning yourself as the best of brand professional you are! You owe it to yourself to be the best you can possibly be. Realize your true potential and promote yourself as the Apple or Amazon.com of your particular business. They say history always repeats itself, but in this case I don’t think the concept ever went away. The rules and methods may have changed, but as Andre Agassi said in 1991, the same holds true for 2012: Image is Everything!