Personal Branding: What brand values are associated with your professional name?
As you work your way through adjusting/re-creating the content and formatting of all your marketing pieces, you might also spend some time thinking about your personal branding and the “values” you are communicating within that content.
Top standard professionalism and delivery of services
Transparency: de-mystifying career/job search best practices
Inclusion: Everyone’s a “somebody”.
I didn’t actually cast these in stone from day one. But they are the themes that have emerged over time, that mean the most to me in the delivery of my services. And I believe these core values, while not explicitly delineated in words, are nevertheless implicitly included in my day-to-day work life. And I’m quite sure anyone who has worked with me would agree my services are customized to the individual needs of my clients, tailored to their specific job-search challenges, and most importantly, you get “behind the scenes” information and best practices in how to effectively manage your career.
So, what would you like your personal branding to look like? What values or themes are the most meaningful to you, in the delivery of your services? Give it some thought. It’ll add some “gravitas” to your overall messaging.
Keep doing your homework! Share on social media using the buttons below, and tag a friend or colleague in need. Everyone needs support in this market.
Next blog, we’ll take a look at job search research & lead development strategy. Yes-sir-ree. And you’ll be ready, cause you are now clear on your goals, and you’re positioned and packaged accordingly.
…Now that you’ve got a career plan, it’s time to develop your brand…
We probably wouldn’t be human if we didn’t worry about how we are perceived by others. In this blog, I’m addressing personal brands: how we appear to others; how (well) we are received; and most importantly, take our marketing pieces to the next level…
Most job seekers operate off of the same “content resume” they’ve drafted through the years, adding to, or deleting items, as they go along. Most people set up a LinkedIn profile, and then neglect to update it over time. Most job seekers are not even aware of the many tools they have at their disposal to market themselves, and further, have not learned how to market themselves on all the digital platforms at their disposal. Most don’t do annual “scrubs” on their marketing pieces. And a lot of (old) marketing pieces have legacy formatting that jam up applicant tracking systems.
How do you build, and effectively manage your brand? …Start at the beginning…
Pro Tip 1:If you’re going to give your “overall look” a serious review, it’s highly recommended you start from scratch! Print up all the marketing materials you have, from your business card, to your resume, email signature, cover letters, web page or blog, business card, et al… Get them all into one pile, and take a good long look at how cohesive they are in terms of fonts, use of (white) space, visuals, contact info, digital currency/hipness, graphic design… Take all your established marketing pieces, and compare them to resume samples you can easily find online through a Google search. Think about Goggling “2017 resume samples” or, “2017 business cards”, etc.
Yesterday’s “content resumes” have definitely transformed into today’s “visual” a/o “graphic resumes”. (Don’t want to put you off, but you might also give some thought to the next iteration on the horizon: video resumes/video bios too…) Speaking of marketing materials, here are just a few samples of the “marketing tools” you will need to market yourself either for a full-time job, or as an independent contractor…
For those seeking staff jobs: resume (PDF format), references; a long format Bio; cover email/cover letter (best suggestion is to put your cover letter and resume in one PDF file and send by email); business card; LinkedIn profile (do not under-estimate the value of LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations!); email signature; and hotlinks to web pages that showcase samples of work you have created a/o delivered.
For entrepreneurs/freelancers: you will need “written copy” that outlines your product a/o service (read: all-purpose copy that you can use in all your marketing materials); testimonials (one-liners from top brands/names – go for the gold, always); a Bio (in short and long formats), a “business development email template” which introduces/outlines your product a/o service; your business card; internet presence on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, a/o Twitter, etc.; email signature; and finally, a web page, site, or blog.
Pro Tip 2: More and more, people are incorporating visuals in their marketing materials (read: word clouds, logos, graphic resumes, hotlinks, icons, newsletters, flyers, blogs, videos, memes, podcasts, photos, (did I mention videos? 🙂 …)
When you’ve finished reviewing and editing all the “content” for your marketing pieces, then you need to turn your sights towards building your brand, by using signature color(s), font/typeface for all your marketing pieces. They should all look similar, and be consistently laid out, with full contact info and web presence(s) front and centre. A title/role would be nice too ie., Content Creator or Project Manager or … whatever it is you specialize in.
Pro Tip 3: Start with your resume. Once you have finalized the content and the look of it, transfer/adapt the same “look” to your business card, cover letter template, email signature, etc. The trick is to establish your brand, be consistent in your look, and use these tools to increase your visibility, and build positive engagement with your community of peers.
Last but not least, two things: 1) Please remember that your name is your brand. Use your first and last name at every opportunity when answering calls, signing off emails, or introducing yourself; and 2) your signature “look” evolves just like you do, over time. Get the first iteration (read: YAY re-invention!) of your brand completed on all your marketing pieces, and then be sure to “review them annually” around your birthday – this will ensure your brand evolves over time, and stays current with market best practices year over year.
Establishing your look, and managing your brand, will indeed be well-received by professionals reviewing them. The amount of work you put into them will show/tell others that you’re a diligent, thoughtful professional, who understands the need to build, showcase and maximize a brand.
Keep doing your homework! Scrub those marketing pieces! Share on social media through the buttons below, and tag a friend or colleague in need. Everyone needs support in this market. Pay it forward for a friend!
In the next blog, we’ll be taking a look at the individual marketing pieces referenced above, and share best practices for bringing them up to 2018 standards!
Wondering where to start actually managing your career? With this career blog, we start at the beginning, and we go through the practical steps that help set us up for success in the marketplace. Do this program once, and you’ll have job search skills for life.
Here’s how it’s done: with this career blog, we’ll start at the beginning, establishing, scheduling and prioritizing goals, and look at best practices for building and managing your personal brand. Then, we look at “job search”, including exploring companies you want to work with by looking at their mandate; figuring out who, let alone how, to approach the hiring manager with confidence; and build a “business case” for you joining the company. We cover how to plan “marketing touchdowns” to get you in front of the right team, at the right time, for the right reasons, and take you from the dreaded “stranger status” to “known and respected entity”….
It is so do-able! And it is not rocket science. The trick lies in your (sustained) attention, and simply doing your homework. Note: in my experience, the biggest problem I see when it comes to careers is that people will just not focus and actually make a plan. Or, they do it in fits and starts (usually with their backs against the wall), instead of concertedly working through the steps to manage their brand and message, on a consistent basis.
The good news: I may be the only person to ever tell you that careers (read: all goals) are absolutely, completely achievable. Most people throw stuff at the wall all their life, and hope that something sticks. When you use that approach,your career is actually managing you. We need to turn this around, and put the power back in your hands. That’s exactly what this career blog will do.
Most job seekers turn to friends, peers or family for advice. Despite having your best interests at heart these well-meaning folk are not trained to help you self-actualize and very few of them know about the new employment rules, let alone, new employment tools… We’re looking for you to make more “truly informed” decisions, enhance your brand, and get you moving forward with confidence. And it doesn’t matter what age or stage you are at.
Please hear me when I say there is more opportunity out there than you can possibly imagine. The world is in a sorry state. There’s untold ways and places for you to apply your unique skills, knowledge and passion. Think about it: if there is a problem in (any) business, it follows that there’s a business imperative to be solved, and an accompanying job (or role) to be had solving it. And yes, dammit, you’re allowed. Not only are you allowed to participate and shine in these new businesses, but you’ll actually be welcomed! Imagine that! You’ll be welcomed because you’ll have done your homework, and that will resonate quite positively (read: confidence) with decision-makers.
Now, to our “homework”… Let’s roll up our sleeves and get started. Leave your regular desk and regular thinking behind, grab your desktop, and go somewhere inspirational … A church? A bar? A park? (…or anything in between) …and do this exercise: https://www.mediaintelligence.ca/career-goals-exercise/
You owe it to yourself. Start by writing down what you want for yourself, not what you think the world wants of you. Don’t waste any more time trying to “think your way through it”. You need to write it down. Note: you need to move your career thoughts out of short term memory and into long term memory. And that’s exactly what happens when you write up your wish-list. Get serious for an hour and write down all the things you want, both professionally and personally. Let’s learn to take a leadership position on our wants and needs, and by doing so, we’ll make your professional reality more meaningful, let alone gainful!
In the issue of this career blog, we’ll take your goals to the next level. You’ll learn to “crunch/(do the analysis)” on them, and we’ll discuss how to prioritize and schedule your goals into your week, week over week. You’ll be off to a strong start, and will be delivering a much more targeted message. It’s nowhere near as hard as you think.
Pro Tip: Just do your homework. Get out your real wish list and have some fun with it!
mI’s career planning program gives you a truly competitive advantage. In one-on-one personal coaching sessions, we help you develop marketing materials with a strong personal brand. We guide you in confidently targeting the exact companies and roles you aspire to. We enhance your interview skills, negotiating power, and your ability to “make a business case”. These will help you secure the exact role you want, on the team that you want. Getting your career plan into shape is a simple 3 step process…
Session 1 – Building Your Plan & Your Brand
We help you identify your goals, and review all your marketing tools and social media profiles. Then we help you identify and market your skill sets and knowledge areas, and teach you how to build a solid job search plan.
Developing and planning short, mid & long-term goals to identify the path you wish to take whether it’s career progression, or career transition.
Resume reviews: Targeted resume writing, online profiles, job applications, cover letters & thank you notes, bios, pitch statements and personal brands. We help you optimize your positioning and packaging.
Identify and address skills shortages & experience gaps.
Clarifying your message through clear “pitch statements”.
Session 2: How To Access The Hidden Job Market
We teach you how to research and target companies properly, through networking, third-party introductions or referrals, and through job search websites/applicant tracking systems. We show you how to match your skills to a given business unit and mandate, and to confidently approach the right decision makers for consideration on their team. We also teach you how to how to make a strong business case for your candidacy, and how to make effective follow ups!
Plan an effective job search online and on the ground: 10 ways to job search.
How to determine if you have the skills to get shortlisted.
How to develop job leads through your professional & personal networks.
When and how to call, email, follow up.
Targeted Job Search: Leverage MI’s spectacular media company database for leads to top media companies and contact info for decision makers.
Session 3: Mastering The Interview & Hire Negotiations
Once you’ve got your goals, your marketing tools and your job search plan on track, we’ll prepare and rehearse you for critical interviews, to interview with confidence, and teach you how to negotiate your compensation package/ deal points.
Interview Prep: understand business etiquette and important protocols, prepare for a wide range of interview styles & questions, and understand what the interviewer is seeking.
How to determine fair market value for salaries.
How to negotiate your compensation package
How to build a successful entry strategy for the new company and how to position your exit strategy for the company you’re moving on from.
What’s the secret to getting a new gig?Job search in today’s “gig economy”, is all about new rules and new tools…and our career best practices to ensure HR folk take serious notice of you…
Our “Do-it-yourself” Career Toolkitis full of templates and guides to help you establish your personal brand. The toolkit offers sample resume formats, a Bio template, templates for cover letters and references, and more! …In short, all the “tools” you need to market yourself in competitive job markets. Most important, the toolkit includes a job search research/job search strategy worksheet (gold!), which walks you through a proven method to target companies, to build your “business case” and to make truly effective “marketing touchdowns” with hiring managers. Our Career Toolkit is designed specifically to supportyour every step, whether you are seeking a new job, or looking to reinvent yourself and build a new business! $29.99
Reach out and get some qualitative support. You cannot succeed in isolation…
We are grateful to our Canadian media clients for your patronage these past 15 years, and helping you source media-savvy talent.
…Not only do we enjoy our work, but a good percentage of our profits has facilitated the rescue and rehabilitation of dozens of animals throughout this period as well — Animals are our fave charity! For this, we are especiallygrateful to you.
We met months ago at Ryerson University when you came to present your Smart Start workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs. We took a lot away from your workshop and have used your presentation as a guide to draft our business plan. I really appreciate your encouragement for people to start their own businesses. Aly Burtch
I invited Michelle to speak to my Centennial College students about interviewing techniques. In December, I asked each student to recall something pivotal they learned in the course. A full third mentioned her session as being one of the most valuable moments in my class, calling it “informative and impactful”. She gave a very dynamic presentation that the students thoroughly enjoyed, full of practical advice but also enthusiastic encouragement. Chanda Chevannes
I was part of the class that you spoke to today at Mohawk College, regarding Career Activism. I wanted to say a huge thank you for coming out. A lot of what you said resonated with me and I now feel much more confident in taking control of my future. Connor Cassidy
I was one of the participants in the Hot Docs Doc Accelerator program — your Career Essentials session was really helpful and eye-opening. Althea Manasan
Great talk today at Humber College! I really enjoyed your presentation. There were some very useful tools to add to my portfolio. Patrick Castaldi
It was such a pleasure meeting you at the Loyalist College Career Fair. You were the highlight of my afternoon and I wanted to reach out to you to say thank you. You also talked about a spreadsheet file on how to access the hidden job market, that just blew my mind. I will stay in touch! Derek Buchanan
Thank you for your guidance and expertise – the work we’ve done has made SUCH a difference in my confidence level. I feel like I have a solid toolbox of skills and resources and 100% more business acumen than I had before I met you. I feel ready to get out there and go after what I want now! Linda Kerec
Interactive, engaging, and motivating! I have learned a lot of useful techniques and how to apply them to my small business promo as well as to my job search. Filip Piatrou
Before we met, I wasn ́t getting ANY responses from employers. After putting my material together, with your suggestions, and changing my attitude, with your tips, employers started to contact me right away, and I finally found a full-time reporter position. You do an incredible job, and YOU DEFINITELY helped me! Flavio Sachett Nienow
When was at the last time you wrote up a career wish-list? In fact, have you ever?
When you’re pro-actively planning and managing your career goals, you are no longer at the mercy of your industry, or the job market! Think about that for a minute! How cool would it be, if you could actually manage your career, rather than have it manage you? No more uncertainty, no more instability, no more throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks! A real plan, that has teeth!
mI helps you identify career goals that support your professional and personal values and aspirations. This career planning exercise will help you figure out the career path you want to pursue.
Challenge yourself to make a list of 12 goals you’d like to realize. Each statement should reflect your dream job or dream wishes… things you’d really like to do at this particular stage of your professional life. Add in some personal goals. Professional development goals. Balance goals. Health goals. If money were no object, what would you really like to do?
I would like to own a small production house, creating X content for X audience.
I would like to be a consultant in policy for municipal government.
I want to produce a YouTube series showcasing…(insert favourite subject!)
I would like to coach young professionals and help them build successful careers.
I want to build my knowledge of/take a course in X.
Then, send your list to us, and we’ll show you how to prioritize each of your goals into short-, mid- and long-term themes, identify any professional development you need to get there, and help you build a schedule and timeline for each of your goals.
The sooner you can identify your career goals, the faster we can help you realize them!
M. Michelle Nadon – Recruitment Specialist & Career Strategist
Michelle Nadon is known for her comprehensive knowledge of Canadian media mandates and stakeholders. Since 2004, Michelle has been the leading provider of strategic recruitment and cutting-edge career resources for professionals in the Canadian media and entertainment sectors: www.mediaintelligence.ca(mI).
As technology and trends have shifted with mercurial speed, Michelle has firmly established mI as the trusted nexus linking creative companies with top professionals. mI is renowned for continuously evolving its coaching products to meet and surpass industry standards. Now in its 15th year, mI has undertaken senior level recruiting assignments, HR consulting and outplacement with all the major Canadian networks, numerous independent television production houses and cultural organizations www.mediaintelligence.ca/recruitment/clients/, and has delivered proprietary career management instruction to several Canadian colleges, universities and media training organizations.
Prior to founding mI, Michelle’s portfolio included managing policy and regulatory compliance with Bellmedia, and serving as General/Operations Manager in two post-production houses. For five years, she worked in production with TVOntario’s English & French public broadcasting networks, and, earlier in her career, worked with industry leader Nelvana, on award-winning 2D and 3D animated series.
Fluently bilingual, she holds certificates in Advanced Blogging, Social Media Marketing, The Alliance Atlantis Banff Television Executive Program and Queen’s University Executive Marketing Program. In 2015, she received an Honours Diploma for Veterinary Assisting. Michelle lives north of Toronto with her beautiful German Shepherd Stella, and spends all of her spare time, goodwill and company profits on animal advocacy through www.c4panimalrescue.ca.