Linked-In: Your best friend

I am a huge advocate for Linked-In.  A Linked-In profile is a great way to build your network of connections and flesh out your resume. With each experience you put on the website, it allows you to explain your duties to a degree that a resume may not have room for.

Furthermore, Linked-In provides a place for you to upload work samples- something that is particularly useful for people going into the field of English or Science, enabling prospective employers to get a taste of your workmanship, thus providing them with another motive to hire you.

LinkedIn also provides great updates about companies you can follow, keeping you up-to-date on big events. This definitely comes to help you out with interviews. If you can cite these in an interview and ask questions about the future of certain developments, you will definitely wow your interviewers.

Another great fact about Linked-In is that it’s the perfect middle point for those business connections you want to stay in touch with, but that are not close enough for you to feel comfortable adding on Facebook.

With the profile you upload being public, it’s a great place to apply for jobs, since it will oftentimes save you the trouble of submitting a separate resume, streamlining the process. Last, but not least, it’s an ideal venue for recruiters to discover you. Based on your previous experience in a field, you may receive offers that are too good to resist! It’s so good, even Gods like Thor and Loki use it!

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Writing a Resume

Writing a resume is a fine process- oftentimes this is what sets you apart from other applicants, for before the HR Manager even sees you in person, your resume makes the first impression, for better or for worse.

They are usually in chronological order, but be careful to stay accurate to your experiences, whatever you say will likely be cross-checked with the references you have provided.

I think there is a certain extent to which it’s okay to stretch the truth, if and only if you are confident that you can exceed expectations for the job. Small lies can usually swing two ways- either people feel empowered by their lies and keep lying, or they work even harder to make sure that they are the best they could possibly be.

Make sure to keep your resume down to approximately one page- if it is longer, there’s a chance your prospective employer won’t flip the page to continue reading about your accomplishments.

Keep your mission statement relevant to the position you are applying for, and make sure to double check for any errors.

A resume should be crisp and clean, on white paper in an easy to read, printed in black (preferably) or dark blue ink.

Remember that this is your first impression, so put your best foot forward!

Your Social Media Presence

Your social media page can make or break you. It sets the whole online tone that gives people the idea of who you are, and what you are like, before even meeting you. Your posting frequency, your posts, images you share and pages you like all come together to form a concept of your personality, and set the tone for interviews.

Now, to be completely inactive on your social media groups is asinine, but when posting, consider how you would feel if the post or picture were e-mailed or shared with your employer, your parents and someday your kids. If you don’t feel comfortable with that idea, don’t like or post it.

Use your social media groups to share your accomplishments and connect with like-minded individuals. By doing so, you could easily take your Lord of the Rings paper and share it with your Tolkien friends on Facebook, who could know of a publishing company who is willing to take you on and publish your work. Social media is a great tool, use it as a handy resource and take advantage of the great benefits it offers, while maintaining a clean, work-friendly presence online.

Branding yourself online

Branding yourself online has become a big deal in the more modern years as well. Nowadays, employers will most likely Google your name before even considering your resume. Your online presence can tell a great deal about who you are when not at work, or your interests and attitudes.

Find ways to be involved in activities, or mentioned in ways online that can add to your resume in boosting you onward and upward. Keep your personal opinions off your blogs, social media and the web. Keep your political debates for the dinner table, and keep your cursing for Atlanta rush hour on I-285!

How to brand yourself in person?

For the purpose of this blog, I will be going with the assumption that most people will be going for the stereotypical interview where you will be undergoing a more traditional process, rather than something more creative.

The first step to branding yourself lies in your appearance.  Always maintain professional dress in the workplace, even if it’s summer and it’s hot, or your high heels are killing you, it’s not acceptable to wear anything but business attire, unless the occasion calls for something else.

Keep your dialect crisp and clean. Yes, we live in the South, but we still have some class in us. Avoid using slang, or vernacular phrasing. Keep your language professional, but friendly. If necessary, you can be firm with coworkers or clients, but your language needs to remain respectful and calm, even under duress.

Your behavior needs to be businesslike, even with your colleagues. There is something to be said for an employee who does not sit around, gossiping about other coworkers. Remember that what goes around, comes around. You could be the next in line as subject of the rumor mill, so it’s best not to give them that license.

Why brand yourself?

Branding yourself allows for a certain reliability and personal dependability. This helps you in the process of branding your company, because it allows you to think, “How do I want to market myself to the world?”. Whether you plan on interviewing for an entry level position on you are a corporate manager, your image and behavior says a great deal about you, and can influence your hireability.

For example, if you come to an interview for IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) dressed in leather pants, biker boots and a loud t-shirt that says ‘I love my Harley’, they will most likely not call you back. However, if you were to interview at a Harley Davidson motorbike lot, you would likely get the job. Branding yourself always depends on circumstances, but it has the ability to turn your life around and give you a chance to create an image and attitude that can take you to the top of the corporate ladder.

My favorite film example of this is the 1988 film, “Working Girl”, starring a young Melanie Griffith as Tess McGill, a secretary who rebrands herself after finding out her boss (Sigourney Weaver) is going to pass Tess’s ideas off as her own. Working in tandem with Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford), who is unbeknownst to her, trying to end his relationship with her boss, Tess rises swiftly in the corporate world. In the end, after a few misunderstanding, laughs and evil bosses, Tess gets the job (and the guy).

The film holds my point valid- branding yourself is the first step to success. Once you have your goals, attitudes and ideas set firmly, it provides a model for you to work off of to get your company going.

Why Branding?

Your brand is the way your customer views you- everything from the atmosphere of the company, to the logo, to the website, all of it comes together to form an image. Consistent,easy to recognize branding allows for clients to familiarize themselves and form an attachment to a particular company, which keeps customers coming back. It lets client know what to expect, creating a comfortable relationship that allows clients to develop emotions towards a company, associating it with certain concepts that male customers feel at home.

A brand is a promise to the client from the company to deliver not only the products, but the experience. When you go to Starbucks and purchase a cup of coffee, sure you enjoy the coffee inside the cup, but oftentimes the pleasure is derived from holding the cup, or posting a photo of the coffee on social media. This emotional experience keeps the customers coming back, and referring their friends. This creates value for the company- the companies Coke, Chick-Fil-a and Costco aren’t just valued based upon how much their staff, facilities and products are worth, but their valuation includes the ambience of the company as a whole.