Your Personal Brand Checklist

Your Personal Brand Checklist

Your personal brand checklist will ensure the world sees you as you wish. It will help you reflect your personal brand in all you do. Everything, from the comments you make on Twitter to the way you dress, strengthens or weakens the way the you are seen! Here is your personal brand checklist.

personal brand checklist
Your checklist
  1. Are you sure people believe you know what you are talking about? First of all, does your resume reflect the real depth of your experience – is it up to date? Do the words you use at work reflect the latest thinking on your subject at this point in time? Do you write articles and blog posts on your specialist interest?

What about your “elevator speech”?

2. Can you deliver a succinct description of what you do, how you do it differently, plus the benefit it delivers? Can you say your piece within the time that it takes an elevator to travel one floor?

3. Are you a convincing communicator? Do people believe what you say? Can you influence people? Why not do a market survey? So, you could choose three people you trust and ask them what they think!  Why not, read a book about it, take a class or work with a coach like me.

4. Do you dress for the job at work? Because you do need to know the dress code for your sector? And you would be wise to follow it for success. But what about off duty? If you met you boss in the supermarket, what impression would they get? Think about what is appropriate to the situation. And balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to those you are trying to impress.

Do you know how to behave at work?

5. By that I mean the etiquette for your organisation and your sector? What kind of business cards do people carry? Most of all, always be courteous. Therefore, always be the one who follows up and says thank you after a kind deed. Remember to do it after sector and professional events.

6. Do you know the people you need to impress? Take time out to build your address book. Collect business cards – make sure yours reflects your image properly! When you have built your relationship, ask contacts for further introductions. Use LinkedIn to find new people.

How often do you nurture your network?

7. Are you working at nurturing your relationships with your contacts? Most of all, are you showing an active interest and do you genuinely care care about them? Ask how they are and what they are doing. But make sure you mean it.  Remember things they tell you – note them down if you need to!

8. What do you do with your spare time? Do you give something back to the community with voluntary work? Or perhaps you help your local sports club? You don’t need to brag about it; news does get around!

Your personal brand is precious. It’s the you the world sees and judges by. Nurture your brand and you will nurture both your life and your career.

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 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


Low Job Search Periods

Low Job Search Periods

Job Search at Holiday Time

By  Career Coach and Life Coach►helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career

Low Job Search Periods! Regular job hunters and those in the recruitment industry recognise two periods when there can be something of a lull in the job market. One is during the summer holiday period and the other is from the beginning of December until mid-January.

Yes, it gets tougher but this isn’t the time to take your eye off the ball. There are likely to be some opportunities around and who knows who you might meet over the Christmas period and what opportunities they may know about.

Having said that though, this might by the time to review and update your CV. Always think about what the recruiter wants to find out – and give it to them, clearly and near the beginning of your CV. Most recruiters scan CVs very quickly and what you say at the top of the first page is all important.

This might be the time as well to further explore social networking. How much do you know about using

lPhoto credit: Inmobiliaria Lares, Cangas)

Twitter and Facebook and are you fully exploiting the possibilities of LinkedIn? Advertising jobs is costly to companies, so many recruit through social media. That makes joining the big three (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) lots of sense. Make sure you keep any dodgy Facebook pictures private, though.

Why not showcase your capabilities on line as well. Now might be the time to write some guest posts. Lots of blog owners (including me) welcome a well written article at any time of the year. I’m always on the lookout for 300 to 500 words on leadership, management, job search or career development. Guest bloggers take the burden off me to produce good content several times a week.

Take part in LinkedIn discussions too. They will continue over the Christmas period. Show people just what you have to contribute.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And don’t forget about chatting to recruiters informally and keeping up to date with their companies. That is a great way to find out about jobs before anyone else. Get on Twitter or LinkedIn and connect with them; make sure you wish them the compliments of the season, too. You have nothing to lose and you may have plenty to gain.

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search this week every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Remember I offer a trial free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype.

Warm regards


  • Job Search: Make sure you include your personal profile/summary in your CV
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Follow Companies on Popular Social Media Sites to Keep Up to Date in Your Industry

Follow Companies on Popular Social Media Sites to Keep Up to Date in Your Industry

Today we have an article from Tamara M. Williams who loves learning about Career Development. She shares her knowledge and experiences in her articles. She also posts articles on other topics so visit her EzineArticles’ profile to learn more.

In order to grow in your career you should try to keep abreast of your industry. While this might seem like you need to visit every site you should just stick with the ones that bring varied content. A lot of companies have LinkedIn, Google+ and many other social media profiles. If you want to take advantage of the information that they share then just follow them on these sites to learn more about them. Each site offers simple ways to find your target companies. Use these methods so that you are always on the forefront of the latest happenings.

The first step is to determine which career you will be focusing on, companies that you want to work for and those that are in the same industry. Then the second step is to visit their website. On each website, look for their social media buttons and follow them. This means that when they post new information you will see them on your social media homepage. Using a mixture of social media sites also allows you access to various media content that will make the information a richer and deeper experience.


First, visit LinkedIn and find the Search bar at the top of the page. Since you want to connect with various companies then start typing the names of one that you already know of. When the results show up, look under the Companies headings in the search results and click the company name. You will be taken to the Company’s Profile page. Select the Follow button at the top. You can view the other tabs for Career, and Products and Insights. Now that you are a follower, you will receive updates on your home page when there are job openings, news on products and services, and other great pieces of information. You can also find out if anyone in your network works at the company and can connect with them if you wish to. Next look at the right columns for the headings: “Persons also viewed” to see a list of similar companies. Go ahead and follow those as well. The more companies you connect with the more you will learn about each company and their respective industries.


Apart from LinkedIn, companies also have a Goole+ Profile. So after you have a list of companies that you wish to follow then navigate to Google+. Again look for the Search bar at the top and start typing the name of the company. Select the company name and once you are on their profile page then look for the Follow button. You can add them to a specific group if you wish. You can view the other tabs for Posts, Photos and YouTube if you want to get more information. In Google+, they share a lot more images and videos so gathering information is fun. You can also find out who are in their Circles if you wish to follow those persons and companies as well. Once you get back to your Google+ homepage then you will see the latest posts made from all the companies that you follow. Of course, you can return to a specific company whenever to want to get more details.

LinkedIn and Google+ are just a few ways to follow companies of interest and stay updated on the latest careers, products and services and other insights being shared. Using these social media networks to boost your career development is easy since you get all the updates on your homepage. This saves you the trouble of going to each company’s website or profile page when you need the latest information. Of course, still feel free to visit their websites because you get more detailed information there.

About the Author:
Tamara M. Williams loves learning about Career Development. She shares her knowledge and experiences in her articles. She also posts articles on other topics so visit her EzineArticles’ profile to learn more.

Find related articles at

Using Social Media for Job Search

Using Social Media for Job Search

Using social media – we all know by now that networking is one of the most important parts of job search. But not all of us are confident about using social media. This is a pity because social media sites will play an increasing role in networking, career advancement, and professional success in the future. If you are a reluctant user of social networking, I hope these tips will help.

Remember that most, if not everything, you do on-line stays there forever. And most can probably be found fairly easily by a potential employer.  So make sure everything you do and write on-line is compatible with the image you want potential employers to see.

Using Social Media – Sites to Consider


Join LinkedIn if you have not already done so.  Have a look at the profiles of leaders in your professional field and the approach they have taken.  Fill out your profile with an eye to recording your achievements and making yourself an attractive job prospect. Find friends and former colleagues to connect with and join groups that represent you professional interest. You can join up to 50 groups and you can connect with other group members. Take part in group discussions to show your expertise. Update your status with useful links and information for others – become a resource. Do not head up your profile with “looking for work.” But use keywords related to the kind of work you are looking for in your profile. This will attract recruiters.


More and more people every day seem to be using Facebook for professional networking. Although personally I have some reservations about its suitability.  Do not mix social and professional networking on Facebook. Use the security features on Facebook with great care. And choose your Friends wisely. Remember your Friends can usually see information about your other Friends in your Profile. Be careful about amount and type of information that you share.  Make sure you post only what you want business contacts or prospective employers to see. And post content relevant to your job search or career. Again, you can demonstrate your expertise.  Facebook can showcase you in the round for a potential employer. That, properly managed, is positive.


Twitter is what is known as a microblogging service. You can, and people do, write messages to change the world in 140 characters. Twitter is open-ended and people. And companies use it in a variety of ways, including recruitment. But in 140 characters or less, it’s tough to apply for a job! However, you can tell colleagues and employers that you are looking. Find contacts and recruiters on Twitter. The begin to follow them to see new opportunities.  Follow companies and organizations that you would like to work for. And then find out what they are up to.  Post useful links and information as well as interactingwith others. Twitter is all about conversations, not broadcasting! You can find me on Twitter as @WWisewolf

Using social media can help you to create your professional brand and build your on-line presence strategically  to help with your job searching and career.

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 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


The Dangers of Social Media

Image via Wikipedia

I love social media – Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook etc.  Those I’ve tried, I love, most of the time!

Of course, I’m aware of the dangers and, yes, I have come unstuck before.  There are a number of us using Twitter who were taken in by a fraudster claiming to do good works.  I learned the hard way not to take people at gravatar value.

I know about the dangers of meeting up but by following the rules about first meetings in public, etc, I’ve met some smashing people and made some real friends.

But today I had my first really negative experience.  I realised the power of the medium and felt quite intimidated by it.

I received a series of what I considered to be fairly “spammy” messages from one particular network (not one of those named above).  I tried to unsubscribe from these particular messages but it wasn’t easy and for some reason it didn’t work.  In all honesty I don’t think the originator of the messages intended them to be anything but helpful and good natured.  But I was very tired of it.

So I sent off a fairly abrasive message and copied it to others. Next I get what I found a fairly sinister message from someone pointing out that by sending such a message I might be damaging my business.  Then I get other messages more or less raising questions about my professional judgement and credibility.

I was left feeling very threatened, realising that it wouldn’t be hard for a few words here and a few words there on social networks to be very damaging indeed.

I’ve taken my own actions to remedy this. And as I mention above I don’t think the writer of the original message meant to do anything but good.  However I am left chastened and wary.

There is huge power in these tools that we are beginning to take for granted.  I, for one, will be much more careful how I engage in future and I will certainly research any network I think of joining quite carefully before signing up.

And I think I need to remember another lesson or two, abrasive messages are much better not sent and, if you were foolish enough to send one, please don’t copy them to others!

I am Wendy Mason and I work as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger.  I have worked with many different kinds of people going through personal  and career change. If you would like my help, please email me at or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439.  I will be very pleased to hear from you. I offer half an hour’s free telephone coaching to readers of this blog who quote WW1 – email me to arrange.

Job Search and the Internet – Using Social Media to Network

My last post promised that today I would deal with your online presence.

Those who have worked in particularly conservative parts of the public sector may find even the thought of having an online presence uncomfortable.  But in reality, you probably already have one.

If you put your name and your previous employer into Google or Yahoo, you might be surprised by what emerges.

I put Wendy Mason,Wisewolf (the name of my company) into Google five minutes ago and came up with 4,240 references in 0.17seconds.  But then I do work with social media (Blogs etc) so I’d have a problem if it wasn’t like that.  Your own presence should depend upon what you have done and what you aspire to! But it is much better to manage it yourself than just to let it happen.

First of all, I’m assuming you know the basics of using the internet.  In job search it is great for looking up potential employers and for research before job interviews. You can also sign up with various recruitment agencies on line and upoad your CV.  But I’m most interested in how you are going to use social media (LinkedIn, FacebookTwitter and the rest).  These are not just for the young, they are efficient and effective ways to stay in touch with a whole lot of people and to find new opportunities.

I going to stick to writing about LikedIn, Facebook and Twitter because they are the sites I believe most useful for Job Search for the UK candidates who make up most of my audience.  They are also the social media sties with which I have the greatest familiarity.

LinkedIn – this is the most significant professional networking site.  It has existed since 2002 and has over a 100 million users worldwide. It is a directory of individuals and companies and is used mainly for finding and keeping in contact with business contacts, former colleagues etc, job searching, hiring and company research.

You can join for free then you complete your profile. In doing so you can put in as much or as little information as you wish and you can decide how much of that information is public. For job search it helps if you complete your profile as fully as possible and make it  public.  But, of ocurse, with all social media, you should have regard to the dangers of identity theft and think very carefully before publishing a personal phone number, your birthday etc.

If you wish you can upgrade your account which brings extra facilities like the ability to send more messages.

What to include in your LinkedIn Profile when you are unemployed can be an issue. But you can make clear that you are “open to opportunities.”  This is important because LinkedIn is routinely searched by recruitment companies who are looking for good candidates to invite to apply for particular vacancies.

Once a member, you can join various groups – there are a number related to the public sector but please look beyond them. You can join and then take part in discussions, ask questions and provide answers – it all raises your profile and your credibility.

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service.  You write messages in 140 characters just like writing a text message on your phone. In fact many people send posts to Twitter from their phones.  You can write about anything and people and companies use it in a variety of ways, including to job search.

You join for free.  Users post updates on Twitter that are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them – followers.

I love Twitter (you can follow me as @WWiswolf).  When you are working at home alone on your job search it can provide that moment of light conversation and information that you found during breaks at the tea-point.

But Twitter is now also a serious tool in job-search because employers and recruiters post job openings.  Many job seekers now use Twitter to help their job search.

Somewhere on Twitter you will find like minds but you can also find lots of advice on Twitter about job search itself. Try following Alison Doyle

Facebook can be used for job search but it needs to be used with care. Facebook is most commonly used for staying in touch with family and close friends. You need to set your privacy options very carefully if you don’t want everything you post on Facebook to be seen by a prospective employer. Chance remarks on Facebook have already cost people job offers and have caused employees to be fired.  You can find some good advice on using Facebook for Job Search again from Alison Doyle at this link

Using social media in your job search needs to be part of you overall networking strategy.  Remember that it is likely that everything you post on the net could found by potential employers if you don’t make it private, so keep the messages and your profile consistent.  But I don’t think any serious job seeker today should ignore the help that social media can provide.

If you have any questions or need any help, please get in touch – I do provide a telephone coaching service in social media if it might be useful to you.  In any case I will be very interested to hear about your experiences on line!

Next week, I’m going to start working with you on your CV

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 Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She 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 or ring ++44(0)7867681439

You can find her business blog at

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 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.

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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 or ring ++44(0)7867681439

The World Needs You! There has never been a better time to be a Transformational Leader

Transformational and ethical leadership, together with emotional intelligence, are the key factors in emerging leadership culture.

The father of Transformational Leadership was Bernard Bass.

When Bass died in 2007 he was a distinguished professor emeritus in the School of Management at Binghamton University. He was also the founding director of the Centre for Leadership Studies at Binghamton and founding editor of The Leadership Quarterly journal.

As well as being an academic, Bass was exposed frequently to the realities of corporate life. He worked as a consultant and in executive development for many Fortune 500 firms. He lectured and conducted workshops pro bono in a wide variety of not-for-profit organizations. These included religious organizations, hospitals, government agencies and universities.

Bass believed Transformational Leadership occurred when a leader transformed or changed his followers in three important ways.

The Transformational Leader;

  • Increased awareness of the importance of tasks and the need to perform them well
  • Made people aware of their need for personal growth, development and accomplishment
  • Motivated them to work for the good of the organisation, rather than personal gain.

These changes lead to trust, motivation to perform and a commitment to achieve the leader’s goals.

His work was taken forward by Noel M Tichy and Mary Anne Devanna.

They found that Transformational Leaders;

  • Identify themselves as agents of change
  • Are courageous
  • Believe in people
  • Are value driven
  • Are lifelong learners
  • Can deal with complexity
  • Are visionaries

With the advent of social media (Twitter, Facebook etc), corporate behaviour is now more transparent than ever!

Injustice anywhere in the world is becoming more and more visible! People are no longer prepared to accept exploitation, dishonesty and oppression in their national leaders. Nor are they prepared to accept them in their corporate leaders. In corporate life, the behaviour of the banks in particular has changed public opinion and probably forever!  It has unleashed a re-shaping of expectations and standards.

There are now real incentives for doing the right thing and real penalties for doing the wrong one.

This, together with the emergence and recognition of the Transformational Leader, means more and more organisations have woken up to reality.  They are beginning to come to terms with social responsibility and the need for ethics!

As never before, there are huge advantages from behaving

  • ethically,
  • with humanity
  • with compassion
  • with consideration for employees
  • with consideration for the world outside the organisation

There has never been a better time to be a Transformational Leader! The world has never needed them more!

Wendy Mason is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She 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 or ring ++44(0)7867681439



If you had any doubts about the value and potential of  using social media, check out 30 Interesting, Useless and Pointless Facts on Jeff Bulla’s blog at the following link!  Don’t be put off by the title!

You begin to understand why you can’t afford not to know to about Social Media whether you are in the public, private or community sectors!

Here is just one example and three facts!

Generation Y awareness of the Ford Fiesta before Ford started their social media program was 0%. It was 37% as of a month ago and stands at 58% at 3 December 2009.

25% of Ford’s marketing spend is on digital/social media!

Ford is the only US Auto company not to take a government grand!

Now you begin to see the possibilities now that using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook may bring?  We have some tips for developing a Social Media Strategy at this link

Social Media for Leaders White Paper Available from Mountain State University

Article form the Mountain State University Website – 17th November 2009

“Social Media for Leaders White Paper Available Today

We are pleased to present our new white paper, Social Media for Leaders. It is available for free download here or as a permanent feature on the sidebar on the top left of this blog. Here at Mountain State University, we believe that involvement with social media is a powerful way for leaders to extend their influence and impact. We hope this tool will help you as you navigate various social networks and learn to use social media effectively. Please feel free to share it with others. You might also enjoy our other white paper, Twitter for Beginners….”

More of this article at this link