Having just been through the process of creating a logo for Lehman Career Psychology, the importance of branding was really highlighted and with it the parallels between branding a business and likewise our own personal branding each time we meet with a potential client, attend a job interview, or discuss our promotional prospects.
Just as a corporate logo conveys a lot based on visual first impressions, so too does your own branding in positioning yourself for a job interview, meeting with a client or discussion about your career progression (not to mention every day in between!).
By personal branding, we are referring not only to visual first impressions of you as a person, but also the presentation of your resume or marketing collateral and your approach to the job search process.
One of the interesting challenges in creating the logo was designing an image which was not only aesthetically pleasing, but also gave the right ‘message’. The ‘tree’ in the logo for instance initially had more leaves on it. While this looked ‘pretty’, it looked more like something from an interior design firm, rather than one offering psychology solutions to the corporate sector.
While it may strike as being superficial, the tendency to make judgements based on first impressions is a natural and innate human bias. So on deciding how to present yourself and your resume, and likewise your approach to job searching and promotion, below are a few things to consider in regards to how you present yourself (either in person or on paper):
- What is the ‘brand’ you want to promote? What is the message you want others to get when they meet you for the first time or read your credentials?
- Does the image you portray ‘fit’ with the culture, environment or role you are working towards? (Are others likely to recognise you as being a ‘good fit’? Are they likely to be able to imagine you fitting into the environment and taking on the target role?)
- Looking objectively at how you have positioned yourself and your resume, what is the first impression others are likely to get? (Does this fit with the message you want to give?)
- Does your language reflect the image you are promoting? (Can you ‘talk the talk’?)
- And importantly, does the way you have presented yourself instil you with confidence? (Does it make you feel comfortable to ‘be yourself’ and therefore perform at your best?)
Positioning and branding are two important factors not to be overlooked in our career journey and also ones we need to protect and individualise along the way. What does your branding say about you?