Posts Tagged ‘Personal Branding’

Stop! Don’t hit send…

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Backspace key and enter keyDon’t hit send…yet! The impression you leave could be a long and lasting one. Do you want to brand yourself as professional, intelligent, mature, patient, considerate and understanding? Although those managing an executive career would share a resounding “yes”, too many are taking a high risk with online comments which could be construed as arrogant, antagonistic or lacking compassion and professionalism.

Today we are sharing comments with hundreds, thousands and potentially millions of people! It is true that our enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of us but it is during these times that you must take your fingers off the keyboard! Walk away, take a deep breath and enjoy a cup of green tea.  Heightened emotional states do not present a foundation conducive to presenting a professional personal brand.

A recent thread of numerous comments on Facebook had one individual standing out from all the rest. Approximately 10 people shared complimentary, friendly, light comments regarding a photo but one individual chose to post accusatory, insulting, rude comments using inappropriate language. The intended recipient certainly gained my respect when he simply ignored her unfounded and unnecessary comments. If an employer was able to view this profile, it would be a very easy decision to eliminate the obvious troublemaker from a list of potential candidates for hire.

Standing behind your values, morals and opinions is acceptable unless you feel the need to initiate an offensive online diatribe with someone who disagrees. A conversation which continues on long past any chance of a reasonable conclusion or mutual agreement may only impact a few, whereas online you could be leaving a permanent, negative impression that will be seen by hundreds, thousands or even more! Don’t comment back and forth to the extent that you have exhausted a topic. Agree to disagree or simply let it go! Any professional, social interactions entered into online require respect and should never reach the “I’m right and you’re wrong” stage.

Offering advice can be seen as thoughtful, giving, generous and further enhance the expertise and professionalism of a personal brand but a recent Linkedin discussion easily portrayed an individual as anything but, when the advice offered contained more personally directed negative criticism than it did positive advice.

Think positive, think professional and give serious consideration to the personal brand you wish to establish. Online comments have the potential to increase your visibility and your opportunities! One bad day and a few emotional or negative comments could easily tarnish an otherwise impressive personal brand and eliminate you from consideration as the next CEO or VP! Don’t hit send until you are sure the comment you are posting is appropriate and professional!

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What NOT To Post On Facebook!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Everyone should know what not to post on Facebook without any further elaboration or explanation but that knowledge doesn’t always seem to have an impact on what actually does get posted. Social media has provided a platform that allows everyone to have a very influential voice. This is a privilege that should not be abused and one which should be managed with respect and responsibility.

Everyone has a choice in life between good or evil, happy or sad, positive or negative,  considerate or inconsiderate just as we have the choice to post it or not to post it. The best advice is to think before you post giving consideration to  your intent and to the impact your post will have on others. Do you actually have the facts surrounding your post? How will your message be received and could it negatively impact your reputation? Is it reflective of your personal or corporate brand? If your emotions are running high don’t post anything! This is not to say that sharing your opinion is the wrong thing to do but remember once it’s read you can’t ever take it back! For those who are so self-absorbed that they are unable to consider anyone else, you may want to refrain from ever posting anything.

We are not all the same but we can share the same expectation of consideration online as we do in person. Most of us are not going to walk up to someone and verbally assault them and nor should it ever be done online. Honesty and integrity should be the basis of all online profiles but it may be a difficult lesson when so many parents are allowing their children to lie about how old they are in order to establish a Facebook profile before the age requirement of 13 years. If anything, maybe some children will learn from the mistakes of adults but is this what they should see? Again, consideration must be given to EVERYONE who will see your post.

Jane Doe wrote:
“Now why would I go to your party, after YOU ARE HAVING AN AFFAIR with my now EX boyfriend. You are NOT a good friend “Sassy”! And I’m putting it out there for everyone to know. Watch your men around “Sassy!”

Most are likely already aware of Sassy’s reputation so what does this post really say about Jane Doe?

John Smith wrote:
“I hate my fat, lazy boss. Think I’ll call in sick tomorrow.”

John Smith might feel great about this post but I wonder how happy he will be when he loses his job?

Employers are using Facebook to review employees and solidify the candidacy of potential employees. Parents are checking the profiles of those we trust to teach and counsel our children. Family and friends are sharing information that will touch the closest of friends, acquaintances, children and grandparents. Professionals are networking and managing executive careers. Customers are checking businesses for quality products and services. How appropriate is your post? Will it show a lack of empathy, emotional stability or is it simply offensive?  If you need to deliberate over whether you should post it online, that’s a clear indication NOT to post it on Facebook!

Report: Facebook Wall Posts Are Full Of @#$%, “More than 60 percent of users have at least 10 pieces of what Socioclean calls inappropriate content, including profanity, drugs or alcohol.

The Star has a great article by Vanessa Lu, and the prevalence of employers utilizing social media as a resource to ELIMINATE potential candidates. Although organizations are popping up to clean up the mess, the most appropriate advice was from Ontario’s privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian, “a simple message – think before you click”.

Visit the Facebook Page.

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Personal or Corporate Branding and Authenticity

Monday, May 30th, 2011

One loud voice and millions of unheard voices is a fair analysis of years gone by but social media is changing everything from the political landscape to corporate social responsibility. Transparency and accountability; genuine, authentic and legitimate; these are the attributes that social media has unearthed and placed at the forefront in the success of your business, professional career or political aspirations. The availability of shared information is extensive and the spotlight must shine on a verifiable, engaging personal or corporate brand. A brand displaying an openness to communication, engagement and the testimonials to further secure credibility. A successful brand is not achieved simply by a well worded mission statement, it requires actions and accomplishments that will back it up.

A Divah.com post, Social Media as Corporate Whistleblower follows up on a Tim Horton’s corporate social responsibility initiative with 3BL Media which appears to be all talk and no action. We can be assured that the increase in available online information and the social media spotlight will show the credibility or lack of credibility for all initiatives.

How Much is Superior Service Worth to Customers?, by Kimberly Weisul reports on a survey by American Express which is one more example of the ease of sharing information, acquiring feedback and clear expectations from a global client base.

Social Media was described in April 2008 by Joseph Thornley as follows;

“Social media are online communications in which individuals shift fluidly and flexibly between the role of audience and author. To do this, they use social software that enables anyone without knowledge of coding, to post, comment on, share or mash up content and to form communities around shared interests.”

The perspective of millions is now being shared rather than that of a small percentage of authors. The increase in our knowledge base is phenomenal. An established social media presence can provide an abundance of connections with satisfied customers, friends, past employers,  groups, family, education, interests, organizations, successes, expertise, colleagues, recruiters, companies and more. If consistent and verifiable, you can be assured of an authentic personal or corporate brand.

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Words – Key, Buzz, Tagline

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Networking is the most important component of a successful job search and utilizing social media sites such as Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter provide the potential to network with millions, establish a visible presence and acquire an abundance of information at the push of a button making it the ultimate resource for anyone interested in managing a successful career. However, to utilize these valuable networking sites to the optimum, the words you use must be carefully considered to ensure your professional profile presents an accurate and positive influence.  When networking face to face it is understood that a firm handshake, eye contact, open arms and a confident demeanour contribute to a positive and professional first impression. Recognizing the importance of these attributes is relative to the consideration that is warranted for the words you choose to display in your online profile.

Keywords, buzzwords and the words used to create a tagline will define your brand and contribute to the success of search results. Consistency in content lends to credibility, specific industry related keywords will ensure search engine optimization and a well thought out tagline will assist in establishing your unique brand.  Sue Horner, wrote Overused buzzword or resume requirement and says, “Your profile should sound more like the things you’d say at a networking event.”

Career professionals are asking, what is the one word that describes “you”? That one word, keywords, buzzwords and taglines are all critical components in establishing your unique brand. These words used in your professional resume and social media profiles will provide decision makers with a clear representation of all that you are. Create your lists  including hard skills, soft skills, work history, accomplishments and industry related keywords. Choose one word from each list that best describes you. Could they form the basis for your tagline?

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2010 Review of Your Year

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Based on your status updates, 2010 in Statuses and My Year in Status will provide a 2010 review of your year too! Check it out. Did you present a consistent message? Does it reflect your personal brand?

Contact Elite Resumes for information on Personal Branding and to speak with Martin Buckland, Certified Personal Branding Strategist.

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Understanding Your Brand

Friday, November 5th, 2010

When you hear the names Chevy, Oprah or Hanna Montana you have an immediate impression. How you feel and what you think is directly related to their brand; a representation of the image and reputation they portray. Any deviation from what we  have come to know and expect can severely damage a brand.

There is no better way to understand branding than by learning from the mistakes of others. Especially those with the highest of profiles. No amount of money or expertise prevented these obvious branding mistakes. Geoffrey James article at BNET.com, 10 Worst Brand Blunders of 2010 includes the likes of GM, Dell, Toyota and Obama. In most cases the harm done was clearly avoidable but when referring to Obama’s brand, Geoffrey James writes, “And it didn’t help, of course, having a fair-sized chunk of the country so stupid that they were willing to believe virtually anything about Obama, so long as it was negative.  But that’s par for the presidential course.

Brands are most often damaged by a lack of consistency or honesty. Tiger Woods will likely be the best example for many years to come. People do not like change and that’s evident by the history of branding bloopers related to changing logos. The GAP could have learned something from Coca Cola a long time ago.

Geoffrey James also provides an entertaining account of the 10 Worst Brand Blunders of 2009. Great articles on branding and he offers the ability to vote for the worst disaster. Check out the results in both articles.

Contact Elite Resumes to speak with Martin Buckland, Certified Professional Branding Strategist.

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Politics and a Lesson on Personal Branding

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Paul Copcutt shared his Tuesday Toonie, “Vote for ME – you know it makes sense!” with a personal branding message that’s clear and simple. Those of you with or without political aspirations will no doubt have learned from this year’s Municipal Elections, more than any in our past, that the less said, the better. Many may still be wondering how so many candidates with shady pasts, little experience and poor track records were able to get voted in. In many of our communities, it was not an intellectual or elaborate political stand that earned the votes. It wasn’t a clean record free of assault or drug charges or an absence of a personal agenda that influenced voters. It was not a community minded individual or someone committed to charitable work, environmental awareness or sustainability that garnered the votes. In most cases it was a clear and SIMPLE message that overshadowed everything else. 

A consistent and clearly understood tag line that enhances your brand is as critical to the success of your career as it is to the success of a political campaign. Thankfully, hiring professionals have an interest in a little more than a simple message and your experience, education and accomplishments will also be of value in your job search, however it is still important to recognize the impact that clearly defined goals and objectives will have on your career.    

Do you have a clearly defined career path? Need help? Contact Martin Buckland at Elite Resumes to discuss the many Executive Career Managements Services available.

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Personal Branding Basics

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

“Takes a licking and keeps on ticking” 

What makes you special? What makes you different? What is it about YOU that can successfully be communicated to others to make you stand out from the competition? Just as a product or organization promotes their brand so too must executives, professionals, consultants and entrepreneurs establish their own unique promise of value.

Your personal attributes are only one facet of a brand but certainly the basics for establishing a memorable and visible personal brand. Clearly defining these attributes will require an internal as well as external assessment to ensure accuracy, clarity and consistency. You will not be able to successfully move forward if what you believe you project is not the same as what is perceived such as intelligence misread as arrogance or confidence as aloofness. Candid responses from external sources are often more readily acquired by using surveys which may be submitted anonymously.

Values, passions and goals also need to be clearly defined at which point it is recommended that a personal SWOT analysis be performed. Internally, what are your Strengths that will help you to reach your goal and what are your Weaknesses that could prevent your success? External factors including Opportunities that are available to you which could positively impact or influence your success and the Threats you face that could prevent you from reaching this goal will all have a direct impact on how you establish your brand.

Evaluating your target audience and your competitors are further exercises necessary to complete personal branding basics and your brand is not complete without a brand statement encompassing your vision, purpose, target audience and your differentiating traits from your competition.

It is easy to find those who have successfully established their personal brand; “The human spirit drives everything that I do” ~ Oprah, or a corporate brand, “good to the last drop” ~ Maxwell House. A successful brand is evident when a few simple words, a name or an image that have been communicated with clarity, consistency and constancy generate an immediate acknowledgement and vision of the individual or product.

Contact Martin Buckland to speak with a Certified Professional Branding Strategist.

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Claim Your Name and Establish Your Brand

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

While you may have chosen to ignore the phenomenal success of social media opting for a low profile citing privacy as a primary concern, you may very well discover that your reputation has been more negatively affected by remaining invisible than if you had established a visible online profile. It is inevitable that your name will come to life online with or without your input. Recently I googled a client’s name and results showed, “curmudgeonly & eccentric, barely socialised, catastrophically unhygenic, frequently profane, inappropriate & blasphemous”! Of course, this was not the individual I was looking for but there were no results to the contrary. If you are not easily identifiable many will not invest the time required to look further and you may have a negative impression cast over your name despite your desire to simply protect your privacy. If the effort is made to search further only to discover that you are nowhere to be found the natural impression will be similar to omitting dates and leaving employment gaps in your resume. What are you trying to hide? A potential employer could also decide the lack of an online presence reflects a resistance to staying current.  

Every day millions of people are searching online for results including the vast majority of HR and recruiting professionals looking for potential candidates and veryifying profiles. If you have a common name it will already be a challenge to modify it in order to find a variation of your name that is available to establish your online profile on many of the social media sites as many common names have already been taken. If you have a unique name it could take a little longer before your name comes to life without you but remember millions of people are creating their online profiles around the world so the sooner you claim your name and establish your brand, the better.    

Social Media has provided an exceptional forum for online networking increasing opportunities for those seeking to market themselves or their products but even for those who have created their online profiles there is still much work to be done in order to establish a highly visible, unique brand in order to stay competitive and discredit impostors.   

If you still feel that social media is not your cup of tea and believe that maintaining a website is more than adequate, Casey Hibbard writes an enlightening article for SocialMedia Examiner, Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle. You’ll find out why an organization with 14 million unique visitors to their site each month turned to social media to claim their name and maintain their brand.

Contact Martin Buckland to find out more about the executive career management services available at Elite Resumes.

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What does your email address say?

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

The email address you have chosen says something about you. Just as all of the other customized addresses such as your Linkedin or Twitter address  says something about you. You were given a choice, albeit the availability does have an impact on your decision but nonetheless, you had the final say.

If there is one component that is of the utmost importance in establishing your personal brand and online visibility, it is consistency! It will be difficult to maintain your “brand” if you have created conflicting addresses for your email and online profiles. Are you the icecreamguy@ with a viable ice cream business or are you charlesbennet@, a CIO in career transition? It is unlikely these two people are the same and maintaining consistent names when creating email or online addresses will help in clearly establishing your brand.

If you are managing an executive career, I wouldn’t suggest using an email address such as, fisherboy@ or partyanimal@. It may have been acceptable as a teenager when communication was limited to friends and family, (not that I would recommend it at any age), but it is sure to tarnish a professional image.   

Although technology is evolving at a phenomenal rate and at times it may be difficult to stay on top of emerging trends, email addresses such as @AOL.com and @sympatico.ca have been dated for some time now and you do not want to be perceived as outdated or unaware of current trends. Sign up for new email addresses such as @rogers.com or @gmail.com.

Do not risk missing out on an opportunity because your email address is translated incorrectly. Get rid of the _ and the - and the 1 and the I. If you hand write your address it is often difficult to read the difference between the number 1 or the letter I and positioning is critical to decipher an underscore from a dash so eliminate any confusion, get rid of it and keep it simple.    

Finally, if you send an email or provide the link to one of your online profiles will the recipient know who it is from? Who the heck is funny124!@??? If you are the icecreamguy@ be consistent in creating all of your addresses such as  www.linkedin.com/icecreamguy or www.twitter.com/icecreamguy.

How many addresses do you have? Are they consistent? Are they representative of your brand? If a search is done, will you be found? Google Martin Buckland or Elite Resumes for consistent results and contact information. 

barbaramackie@rogers.com  barbarajmackie@gmail.com
http://twitter.com/BarbaraMackie  www.naymz.com/search/barbara/mackie/1472056
http://ca.linkedin.com/in/barbaramackie
www.visualcv.com/barbaramackie
http://www.lookuppage.com/users/barbaramackie
http://www.nuworldwide.com/profile/BarbaraJMackie
http://zoomers.ning.com/profile­ /BarbaraJMackie
http://www.facebook.com/barbara.mackie http://www.google.com/profiles/BarbaraJMackie http://barbaramackie.myplaxo.com
www.netvibes.com/barbarajmackie
http://www.myspace.com/barbaramackie
http://person.yasni.com/barbara+mackie+146432
http://friendfeed.com/barbaramackie
http://social.implu.com/t/BarbaraMackie 
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Happy Canada Day!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

We realize the importance of a personal brand and that of a corporate brand so what about the brand of the country we live in? Simon Houpt, Marketing Reporter for The Globe and Mail writes, What is Canada’s Brand? Canada Day is described as a celebration of a meeting, a union, an agreement about mutual goals over that of the individual. He notes our motto, “Peace, order, and good government”, included in the Constitution Act of 1867 relating it to our DNA and impacting every decision we make.

The majority will agree that there is little that is negative when it comes to Canada’s brand, a country that is well respected and liked around the world as we are recognized for our unique policies in all sectors including peacekeeping.

Is being Canadian reflected in your personal brand? Are you effectively communicating your unique strengths, skills, values and passions? Regardless of our individual attributes, as Canadians we do have a distinct advantage. One which is notable in almost any country in the world by stating a fact that when spoken will inspire admiration, trust and respect. It consists of three words………..

“I am Canadian!”

 

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Establishing a Visible Brand

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Successful career management requires establishing a visible brand.

A brand must be credible and consistent.

Visibility requires a professional online presence.

Have you established a visible brand? Is it reflected in your resume and your online presence? When was the last time you googled yourself? If you google your name and you are clearly visible in first page results, you are on the right track. If your name presents many pages of search results that are all related to yourself, this is impressive. If, however you are able to google your brand or expertise without your name and still produce results for yourself, that’s the ultimate personal branding accomplishment.

The following individuals and their areas of expertise are worth a search as they are great examples of establishing a visible brand:  

Dan Schawbel is a world renowned personal branding expert and is easily found online by simply searching, personal branding.

Martin Buckland provides executive career management services and holds many certifications including, Certified Professional Resume Writer. You will not require the use of his name to produce online results, simply search for executive career management or professional resume writing.

Chris Brogan has established a well respected, visible brand in the social media world as an author, entrepreneur and speaker.

One highly visible brand that represents consistency but lacked credibility is easily found if you do a search on golfing.

Your name, your industry, your expertise and your business. Do you like the results? Search for Elite Resumes to speak with a Certified Personal Branding Strategist.

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One Word to Describe YOU

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

What is the one word that you would use to describe YOU? This is an important question to consider as you focus on a personal branding strategy which is the foundation for establishing your online professional profiles and the successful image you will portray as you progress throughout your career.

Most surprisingly the word most often used by those in career transition to describe themselves is “passionate”. Surprising because the majority of people are not perceived as ”passionate”. The trend to use this particular adjective may be attributed to the prevalence of information available suggesting we will achieve success if we find our passion. While this could very well be true, the word to focus on should be one that describes you in your entirety, one which relates to you as an individual and reflects your personality. You may be very passionate about playing hockey but a wall flower at social engagements. Your passion for your job may be evident but your family sees only a couch potato.   

Here are a few suggestions for the one word that may describe you:  

Enthusiastic, visionary, committed, driven, tenacious, ambitious, detailed, tactful, diplomatic, resourceful, innovative, strategic, courageous, strong, accurate, optimistic, reliable, intelligent, respected, supportive, knowledgeable, creative,  influential, ingenious, indomitable, persuasive, persistent, intuitive, inquisitive, professional, leader!

Give serious consideration to consulting with your colleagues, mentors, friends and family to gain further insight into how others perceive you. There are a variety of behavioural assessment surveys and self awareness programs available. A professional Executive Coach or Personal Branding Strategist will also provide valuable feedback. If the perception of others is totally different than how you see yourself, it will be an impossible task to establish a credible profile and a respected personal brand.

Authentic and genuine are the keys to any successful brand. Choosing to do anything different will put you in a very negative spotlight. Just ask Tiger Woods. No one appreciates being deceived.

Contact Elite Resumes to discuss your brand with a Certified Professional Branding Strategist and Executive Coach.      

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Personal Branding Is

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Tiger Woodssanta-and-mrs-clausIf we had to choose the two most powerful personal brands in December, 2009 I believe Santa Claus and Tiger Woods would top the list. If these two individuals were mentioned together only a few weeks ago the emotional response would have been very different than it is today, which is why they provide an excellent example of what Personal Branding Is and the power behind it.   

Producing and sharing content has become a daily routine for many people. The population of some social media sites has now exceeded most countries and search engines provide the option to be selective with those connections. These venues are making it easier to generate recognition and ”establish” your personal brand but it is critical that what you are selling is authentic. If your actions do not match your established personal brand you may be mistaken for Tiger Woods.

Charles Brown, Web Marketing Coach, provides some valuable information in his article, “Why You Must Produce Content to Build a Personal Brand” and shares his definition of Personal Branding; “Personal Branding  is becoming a recognized expert in a certain niche by producing content that demonstrates knowledge and adds value.” 

William Arruda’s article, Could Santa Be The World’s Strongest Brand?, clearly portray’s Santa as the “model brand” as we know what he stands for because it has been a long established, consistent message. He shares tips for a winning brand, “Stand Out. Be consistent. Create an emotional connection. Remain visible to your target audience.”    

While most will never reach this level of brand recognition, it is still critical to maintain a credible personal brand. Before you share your personal brand, go beyond your particular expertise and clearly focus on who you are. Your personal brand is all encompassing and must be authentic, genuine and honest! This doesn’t mean you must be a saint. Even Santa says there’s, “naughty and nice”! Hugh Hefner has maintained a powerful brand for many years. A consistent image that is accepted whether you agree or not with his way of life. If Tiger Woods had not established a personal brand that conflicted with who he really is no one, including his wife, would ever have considered going after him with a 9 iron!

Elite ResumesContact Elite Resumes to speak with a Certified Professional Branding Strategist.

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Are you a mystery?

Friday, October 30th, 2009

mysterious

Everyone loves a good mystery and there are many who are intrigued by vagueness or anonymity. With Hallowe’en fast approaching the excitement is in the air for children and adults alike who are preparing to don their costumes and transform themselves into a totally new character.

Hiding who you really are at a costume party is acceptable but if you are interested in being noticed and taken seriously in your job search by a recruiter or an HR professional, you better come clean! The more open and honest and genuine you are, the further you stick your head above the water, the more opportunities will come your way. Hiding behind a facade or making a decision to omit pertinent details in your resume will only question your credibility.

The success of your career is dependent on being discovered and being seen as a viable candidate by employers and recruiters. It is critical that you invest in your presence, networking online and offline and develop your personal brand. You must “tell the world”, that you are an outstanding, performance driven professional adept at providing solutions! If you remain invisible what possibility do you have of being discovered?

For some it is easier to be a mystery and for most, selling yourself is a difficult endeavour but for those interested in succeeding in their career, it is necessary to develop a visible, marketable, personal brand!

Elite ResumesContact Elite Resumes for further information on building your Personal Brand from a Certified Personal Branding Strategist.
happy-halloween1

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Personal Branding – Who is it for?

Friday, February 6th, 2009

standing-out-photoPersonal Branding is for professionals who want to achieve their goals while being true to themselves. A distinctive, memorable and compelling personal brand provides the guidance you need to shape your strategy, adding enormous value to your career or business. It helps to define your professional direction and maintain a course even during difficult times. It also enables you to uniquely position yourself in a competitive market and focus on creating value. Your resulting achievements will expand your professional success and give you profound satisfaction in your work.

The days of working for the same company for 20 or 30 years and wearing a “corporate uniform” are gone.  Today, creativity and differentiation are key to defining your success. Personal Branding is about expressing something special, unique and relevant. It is your permission to be your authentic self.

Contact Martin Buckland, Certified Professional Branding Strategist, for a confidential consultation.

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President of Sales, VP of Sales, Sales Manager, Sales Associate

Friday, October 31st, 2008

In today’s economic crisis, the number one job available is in SALES!  These positions are currently the most sought after as an increase in sales could potentially be the key factor in the survival of many companies caught up in today’s economic turmoil.

Increasing sales is one of the few definitive options available to the decision makers of many companies and organizations at a time when so much is beyond their control.  The fluctuating dollar, volatile stock markets and wavering economies of neighbouring countries have resulted in widespread, growing concerns over the viability of many businesses.  An economic crisis, forecasted by some, as the worst since the Great Depression of the 30′s.

Many people are currently in career transition and those who are not could potentially be in the near future.  Statistics show a continuing decline in the length of tenure in all executive positions.  Although it may not seem to be at the time, this transition can be a positive opportunity for your career development.  By acquiring knowledge and a clear understanding of current trends in our market place, recognizing the significance of fulfilling your own needs, focussing on your strengths and following your passion you can set the goals needed to create a path to success.

If you require the professional advice of a career transition coach, professional branding strategist or master resume writer please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Don’t Burn Bridges

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

The value of networking can never be overstated.  In a recent blog, What goes around comes around, the significance of presenting yourself as a professional, courteous and considerate individual and more importantly, one who is genuinely interested in the needs of others is reviewed.  The impression you leave may ensure that your name comes to the forefront the next time an opportunity to fulfill your needs arises.

The consequences relating to how you are perceived, the impression you leave, your reputation and building your personal brand could be vital in the advancement of your career.  Alternatively, the consequences related to a conscious decision to destroy a past relationship could be disastrous.  Don’t burn bridges!

Recently, I received an email from someone who had been let go from a company only to be hired back in a different role six months later!  Obviously, the relationship he built with this company was instrumental in securing his new position.

Don’t burn briges! You never know how much influence your past could have on your future.

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What goes around, comes around!

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Some of us are firm believers in what goes around, comes around and as professionals, we spend a great deal of our time networking. Successful networking involves sharing information, experiences, and most importantly, our needs. Understanding what we can do for others and what they can do for us and then following through will sooner or later result in what goes around, comes around.

Promoting my expertise online as well as my relentless networking generates many calls to my business line and I do speak directly to all potential clients and associates.  Yesterday I received a call from a potential client that I had never spoken to or knew of prior to the call.  He was rude, disrespectful, abrupt and was quick to relay his needs, “I don’t need a resume, I need a job”, just prior to disconnecting the call.  Although my expertise includes that of a Master Resume Writer, I also hold other credentials, including that of Branding Strategist, Career Transition Coach and Employment Interview Professional.  If this person had had the foresight to listen to what information I required from him, it would have been possible for me to address his needs.

Who you know, is likely to be a key factor in advancing your career, or not!  There is a reason that we are being overloaded with information on personal branding.  First impressions are critical.  It sets the stage and is very likely the only impression that anyone is left with.  Did you leave them with a positive impression?  Did you have a positive impression of them?  Would they recommend you?  Would you recommend them?

Did you know that most hiring professionals have a standard practice after a job interview to ask the individual at reception what they thought of the potential candidate?  The next time you are face to face with someone or the next time you pick up the phone you may want to think about the impression you want to leave with that person.  Someday, that person could be a very influential force in your future because, what goes around comes around.

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A Branding Success, Personal and Corporate

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Recently I received an email from Lynn Marie Caissie, through an organization called HAPPEN, regarding an experience she had on a flight with WestJet.  Much has been written about creating your personal brand and even more about corporate branding; the objective, to develop a ”unique and influential” persona or company.  WestJet is truly a branding success story, not just because this company has successfully created their “unique” brand, but because they did it using a brand that every other business in the world would like to be recognized for, extreme customer and employee satisfaction! One of many examples of how they achieved this success is Lynn Marie’s experience:

…I have flown WestJet.  Once, on my way back to Toronto, I was taking my seat when a gentleman – very definitely a businessman – boarded.  All the agents were very pleased to see him, and were engaging him in conversation.  He was gracious, and chatted with each one individually as they became free from their boarding activities.
Throughout the flight, the pilot and co-pilot came out to speak to him, too.  He obviously was well-regarded. Towards the end of the flight, he stood at the front of the cabin, took his jacket off and rolled up his shirt sleeves.  He took the com-phone and introduced himself: Sean Durfy, President and CEO.  He started by thanking us all for flying WestJet, said a few words about the Company, its history and growth, and then announced that he’d be coming through the cabin to collect our garbage.
I can’t tell you how powerful a gesture that was.  Everyone on the plane had an opportunity to ask questions, say a few words, complain, praise.  I don’t think the gesture would have been so powerful had he not been greeted with such obvious pleasure and respect by the cabin staff…”

The message was clear to Lynn Marie,  a Human Resource Professional, as she went on to acknowledge this experience as an “effort to ensure that customer and employee satisfaction is #1 on everyone’s agenda”.

“The caring and dedicated nature of our people are what makes WestJet a different kind of airline”, says Sean Durfy, President and CEO of WestJet .  Prior to President and CEO, Sean Durfy was EVP Marketing and Sales for WestJet.  Strategy Magazine awarded him Marketer of the Year and published the following quotes;

“Until Sean [took over marketing], we had never used the commitment of our employee-owners as a differentiator between ourselves and our competitors,” says Durfy’s boss and WestJet co-founder and President/CEO Clive Beddoe. “He focused on really cementing that brand into people’s minds.”

“WestJet very cleverly created a classic challenger brand,” agrees Philippe Garneau, ECD of Toronto’s GWP Brand Engineering. “It is now hard-baked into the brand that this airline is going to give its customers a different experience at all the points that matter most – on board, at the gate, throughout.”

WestJet’s misson statement, “To enrich the lives of everyone in WestJet’s world by providing safe, friendly and affordable air travel.”

For three years in a row, WestJet has been awarded, Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Culture, by Waterstone Human Capital and the National Post.

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