Looking Professional – Not Your Holiday Photo Please

Looking Professional– Not Your Holiday Photo Please

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Looking professional – have a care with your profile picture. So, there I was sending out invitations to various contacts and I hit on one name I hadn’t seen Looking Professionalfor a while. It was a former colleague. I went to look at her profile to see what she’d been doing recently and, there it was, that same old photo.

Well, you might say, be fair Wendy. There is a certain very flattering photo of you that has been on one website for a very long time. Yes, that is true.  But that isn’t her problem. My old chum has chosen to put on her professional profile, a not very flattering photo taken on holiday. True,  she isn’t looking for work at present. And,  I suppose for her, social media is just a way of keeping in touch.. But what happens when things change?

Think about looking professional

She isn’t the only one, of course, who doesn’t think about looking professional.  I know others who have non-holiday and posed photos on their profile. But, still, they do not look at their best.  Some seem to have been taken with the giggles and others seem to think that looking professional equates to looking grim.

I’m not sure why they have not worked out that looking professional means looking like someone you would want to work with or do business with.

On top of that, remember, that these days potential employers may search social media for more information about you.  Those photos you are tagged in that were taken on the “stag” or “hen” do in Benidorm are not going to work to your advantage.

So,  why not carry out an internet search on your name and check that what comes up promotes your professional “brand”.  Anything that doesn’t  see if you can delete it, or at least, remove the tags!

And in future guard pictures of you that appear on-line quite carefully. You never know what potential employer may be watching. Don’t let your photo “mistakes” come back to haunt you.

In job search and career development you are the “brand” so ensure you keep looking professional. It is up to you to protect yourself. If you would like some more job interview tips or some extra help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Branding in Your Job Search

Branding in Your Job Search

Wally, Wolves and Branding in Your Job Search

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

I was sorry to hear of the death recently of Wally Olins. Wally was one of the great gurus of branding, that 21st Century obsession.

Branding in Your Job Search – of course, branding began on Madison Avenue and back in the sixties. As the founding father, Rosser Reeves, wrote in his book “Reality in Advertising;” brands “establish contact with the subconscious …below word level….Their sole purpose is to create images and moods.”

The moods that branding has created have changed the fortunes of global corporations. Think about “The future’s bright, the future’s Orange.” That was a success brought about by Wally’s consultancy company, Wolff Olins.

My own experience of Wolff Olins came in the 1980s when I worked with them on a programme to re-launch and re-brand social security in the UK.

It wasn’t a job I particularly liked and it didn’t last long. But my disenchantment had nothing to do with Wollf Olins and their work. Of them I remained in awe and I learned some significant lessons from them about creating an authentic brand – it took commitment, consistency and great attention to the detail.

Those principles are ones you need to keep in mind when maintaining brand “You” in your job search and your career.

• Be consistent in the messages you send about your competencies and your professional approach
• Be thorough in how you apply the various job search and career development tools and processes
• Be fastidious in your attention detail when applying for jobs and promotions – check and double-check.

Make sure that what you show the world, is what you plan to bring to your opportunities.

Other resources for the job seeker

As a job seeker, there are lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.

Your first day in a new job!
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little work book. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link 

Consistent Brand Value

Consistent Brand Value

Collaboration is the Key to Providing Consistent Brand Value

This is a post by Libby Gill, author of Capture the Mindshare and the Market Share Will Follow. It is from the Leadership Now website

Consistent Brand Value! As much as people love to over-complicate the topic of branding, simply put, a brand is a promise of value. The most successful brands – the ones I call Mindshare Brands – are those that deliver or over-deliver on that value promise consistently over the long haul. Think Coca-Cola. How about Mercedes. Think Apple. Any brand you think about that you count on to deliver what you want every single time – or pretty darn close to that. Even the big guys slip occasionally, though mistakes well handled can actually be terrific branding opportunities.

So how you do you continually commit and re-commit to going the extra mile for your customers? How do you stay focused in the face of crazy busy workloads and constant change? The key to providing consistent value, despite the obstacles you will inevitably encounter, is to build a culture of collaboration where everyone’s goal is to delight the customers and ensure their swift return.

In today’s highly competitive business climate, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to succeed by going it alone. So it’s well worth the time and effort it takes to create a collaborative atmosphere based on trust, respect, and openness. Here are some strategies you can employ to jumpstart the process:

  1. Establish high standards for communication. Set the tone for the highest levels of communication, which include candor and kindness….

You can read the rest of this post at this link http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2013/08/collaboration_is_the_key_to_pr.html

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Collaboration is the Key to Providing Consistent Brand Value

Collaboration is the Key to Providing Consistent Brand Value

This is a post by Libby Gill, author of Capture the Mindshare and the Market Share Will Follow. It is from the Leadership Now website
As much as people love to over-complicate the topic of branding, simply put, a brand is a promise of value. The most successful brands – the ones I call Mindshare Brands – are those that deliver or over-deliver on that value promise consistently over the long haul. Think Coca-Cola. Think Mercedes. Think Apple. Think any brand that you count on to deliver what you want every single time – or pretty darn close to that. Even the big guys slip occasionally, though mistakes well handled can actually be terrific branding opportunities.

So how you do you continually commit and re-commit to going the extra mile for your customers? How do you stay focused in the face of crazy busy workloads and constant change? The key to providing consistent value, despite the obstacles you will inevitably encounter, is to build a culture of collaboration where everyone’s goal is to delight the customers and ensure their swift return.

In today’s highly competitive business climate, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to succeed by going it alone. So it’s well worth the time and effort it takes to create a collaborative atmosphere based on trust, respect, and openness. Here are some strategies you can employ to jumpstart the process:

  1. Establish high standards for communication. Set the tone for the highest levels of communication, which include candor and kindness….

You can read the rest of this post at this link http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2013/08/collaboration_is_the_key_to_pr.html

Looking Professional

Looking Professional

Job Search – Minding the Brand – Not Your Holiday Photo Please

Looking professional! So there I was sending out invitations to various contacts and I hit on one name I hadn’t seen for a while. It was a former colleague, so off I went to look at her profile to see what she’d been doing recently and there it was, that same old photo.

Well, you might say, be fair, there is a certain very flattering photo of you that has been on one website for a very long time. Yes, that is true.  But that isn’t her problem; my old chum has chosen to put on her professional profile, a not very flattering photo taken on holiday. True,  now she isn’t looking for work and,  for her, good old LI is just a way of keeping in touch with people. But suppose that were to change?

Now, she isn’t the only one.  I know others who have non-holiday and posed photos on their profile. But they still do not look at their best.  Some seem to have been taken with the giggles and others seem to think that looking professional equates to looking grim.

I’m not sure why they have not worked out that looking professional means looking like someone you would want to work with or do business with.

On top of that, remember, that these days potential employers may search social media for more information about you.  Those photos you are tagged in that were taken on the “stag” or “hen” in Benidorm are not going to work to your advantage.

So,  why not carry out an internet search on your name and check that what comes up promotes your professional brand.  Anything that doesn’t  see if you can delete it, or at least, remove the tags!

And in future guard pictures of you that appear on-line quite carefully – you never know what potential employer may be watching. Don’t let your photo “mistakes” come back to haunt you.

In job search and career development you are the brand – it is up to you to protect yourself. Looking professional really matters.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 
  • Why Telephone Coaching Works
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Danger – Spontaneity Ahead! Why You Need a Communications Strategy for Social Media.

We live in a complex but highly networked world!

Never before have so many people had the ability to communicate cheaply with each other, and the rest of the world, at length!

  • You can broadcast and you can have conversations through networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc and through messaging services!
  • You  can publish and broadcast if you choose through blogs, and through sites like YouTube.
  • You can produce your own radio programmes and even become a DJ through music sites like Blip.fm sitting at home and on the move!
  • Increasingly LinkedIn is a key tool in professional networking and recruitment.

A little while ago this digital world belonged to techies and school kids.  Now it can belong to all of us.

Increasingly, it will play a role in both career and business survival.  A little while ago all you needed to know was how to surf the net to find and download information. Now you need to know how to put it back up there so that you can control and develop your personal brand.

Messages flow fast!  Once you have sent them, they continue to exist on the web for a very long time.  So to be purely spontaneous is to take a risk. If you are in business or hoping to develop your career, you need a strategy for your communications.

Before you start here are a few tips.

1. Integrate online and offline.

Your communication’s strategy needs to cover both your offline and online activities!

If you meet up with contacts you have made on the web, will they know who you are? No, I’m not talking about having a photo that bears some relationship to how you look today.  (Although, it makes sense to choose a flattering photo that does you justice, have a care if you want to avoid embarrassment)

What I’m talking about is authenticity and integrity.  Don’t express views on line that you don’t really hold, or that you wouldn’t be prepared to express in public, to your boss, your work mates, your neighbours and, of course, your customers! You’d be surprised what people remember and what people find on the web!

2. Start with a plan!

Before you jump in, make sure you have a plan!  Think about who you are trying to influence.  Who has an interest in you, your business or your career and what you do?

List them and then decide how important they are and how much influence they have over your future!  What heading will you put them under?  For example;

  • government
  • your sector
  • customers and potential customers
  • shareholders
  • potential business partners
  • board/top management
  • suppliers  and potential new suppliers,
  • managers,
  • staff,
  • trade unions
  • wider sector interests,
  • personal contacts
  • family,
  • your community
  • interest groups

You can take it as far as you wish!

Who has the priority?  You can score them out of five under each heading!

Those with the highest score are the people to concentrate on.

For social media you are usually looking at communities – what communities are you going to engage in?

Now how will you engage and what will that  engagement  look like?

What is the message and where are you going to communicate it – blogs, social network sites, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.?

How much time have you got and how many resources do you have available? Do you have resources available to take professional advice?

3. Engage in Conversations.

Remember although organisations use social media to broadcast, that isn’t how they are best used.

When you use social media, it’s important to engage in conversations and get to know people just like in the offline world.

Don’t just get in there and start pitching – it will just put people off!  And on social media sites people get put off pretty quickly. You’d be surprised how quickly they can switch you off!

Don’t be anxious to promote yourself or your business at first!  You have to give, to get.  Add value and expertise and win respect in your conversations.  You need to win the right to pitch!

The courtesies are just as important as they are in the off line world!  Say please and thank you and acknowledge when someone has bothered to spend time with you or done you a favour!

If you are polite and engage in real conversations, relationships will begin to form.  You will see opportunities open up to talk about you and what you want to offer!

4. Monitor your “Brand”

Use tools like Google Alerts, and Yahoo Alerts to monitor what’s being said about you, your organisation, others in your sector and the market you are targeting.

Knowing what is being said about you and/or your brand can make you aware of your impact. Knowing what’s being said about your sector, your competitors and your market can also make you more competitive.

I use Google Alerts as well to find out about the latest developments in my professional discipline.

But simply putting your name and the name of your organisation into a search engine regularly will tell you a lot about your web presence!

5. Focus and Ignore the Noise

There are so many conversations taking place and so much interesting content that it is easy to be distracted.

I have to work very hard each morning to switch off from Twitter to concentrate on my in-tray! This is where your plan comes in!  Remind yourself what you are trying to say and the communities you want to address.

Stick to the plan!

But review it at regular intervals as you get to understand more about social media.  You can streamline your plan to better target individuals and the communities that you need to be a part of, as you gain experience and knowledge.

Streamlining saves time – as I’ve hinted above, social media is so enjoyable that  it can be the greatest time waster in the world!

Above all remember: “If content is king, then conversation is queen.” – John Munsell, CEO of Bizzuka.

I would love to hear about your own experience of social media and if you need any help please get in touch!

A shorter version of this post was posted here in June 2009.  I’ve revised and expanded it based on my own experience of social media.

  • Why Use LinkedIn? (brighthub.com)
  • 5 tips to build your personal brand with social media (xpressartuk.wordpress.com)
Wendy Mason works as a consultant, business coach and blogger. Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439