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In a world where competition for jobs is rife and companies are always looking for the best candidate, it’s essential that you are presenting yourself – and your personal brand – in the best manner possible.
A good place to start is to take a look at your personal branding toolkit; what do you use every day to give other people an idea of who you are and what you are about?
Your online presence is an increasingly important element of your personal brand. Keep the following in mind;
- Take advantage of the tools at your disposal; LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter can all be important factors in increasing your market presence.
- Don’t say or do anything online that you wouldn’t do in real life.
- Join online forums and groups to network with other individuals; LinkedIn and Google+ groups can be a base for great discussions and sources for advice about improving your career.
Ensure you have a business card
- Don’t be fooled into thinking that technological advances have rendered the traditional business card useless. Face to face networking will always come about in one way or another, so what better way to get your details across? If no one else is handing out their business cards, you will stand out – it’s a good sign of being prepared and eager to make new contacts.
- Use a simple design and clean font alongside your name, job title, and preferred contact details to make the best impression. Remember that this card may be passed on to other individuals, so don’t assume the individual reading knows you or will remember your additional explanation of who you are.
Physical presence is vitally important
This predominantly refers to your working wardrobe; what first impression do you give to the people you meet through your clothing? Make sure you are always presenting yourself in a professional way – invest in staple, timeless, tailored business wear.
Hold your head up high, walk tall and maintain a steady pace when walking or entering a building. You should avoid appearing rushed or distracted, especially when interacting with potential contacts. Focus on your physical presence and you’ll be able to give a great first impression.
If you are working – or looking to work – in a niche area of the legal profession, make sure you communicate this through your personal brand. Ensure your business card and online profiles explicitly show your areas of interest and experience, and always dress the part.
Developing your brand isn’t something that starts when you’re searching for a role and ends once you’ve found one – it’s an ongoing process that requires commitment throughout your working life.
When in a company, be sure to be the person known for going the extra mile; support both your direct and indirect team, offering your expertise whenever required and taking on additional responsibility where possible. Not only will this ensure you remain at the forefront of decision maker’s minds, it will give you plenty of experience to add to your CV.
Understanding how well your personal brand is communicated can be difficult, so why not ask an external source for their opinion and advice? Take a look at your toolkit on a frequent basis to ensure you are always presenting yourself in the best manner possible.
It can take as little as three seconds to make a first impression and, as a job seeker, this can be the most crucial moment of meeting an individual. Whether you’re answering an online advert, picking up the telephone and contacting a recruitment agency or attending an interview, you need to be aware of how you are presenting yourself..
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
When you are meeting someone in person, it’s important to have open and confident body language – uncross your arms, stand or sit up straight, and maintain steady eye contact when talking to someone. Even if you’re not feeling particularly confident mentally, having self-assured body language will help you to feel more positive and in control of the situation.
It’s important that even when on telephone calls you are aware of how you are holding yourself; sitting up straight or standing will help you to project your voice and appear confident.
If you are on the job hunt, an important element to consider is answering the telephone, especially if that person could be a prospective employer. Always take a moment before picking up the call, and then introduce yourself so they know they have reached the right person.
Having a steady voice when you’re under pressure or feeling nervous can feel like a daunting task, especially if you are in an unfamiliar situation. You should concentrate on breathing – short, shallow breathes will only make you seem panicked and change your voice. It’s expected that you will be thinking about your answers in an interview situation, so don’t feel that you have to jump in straight away. Think first, compose yourself, and then answer.
First impressions count and it’s important to pay attention to your overall presentation. Whatever style of interview you are attending, you should dress smartly – make sure your shoes are shined, your clothes fit correctly, you’re clean-shaven, and that your hair is neat.
Expressing your personality through your clothing can be a good way to feel more confident when in interview or networking; you will feel more representative of yourself and how you want to be perceived. Colour and accessories are a great way to do this, so why not try a red tie or handbag? Even if you are interviewing in a corporate environment, it’s good to stand out and show some character.
We all rely on technology to aid us in our job search, but this doesn’t mean first impressions are any less essential. Keep these main points in mind:
- Remember that you’re searching in a professional capacity; keep your personal and professional profiles separate, avoid revealing any controversial opinions and make sure you’re using a formal e-mail address.
- Write your emails with a face-to-face conversation in mind; you wouldn’t ask someone outright for a position – explain yourself, where you saw the job advertised, and why you would be a good candidate – and thank them for their time!
- Avoid using a basic cover letter format - put time into your applications and always double check the name of the company and position your applying for.
If you’re still unsure of how to make the best first impression, why not ask an external source to take you through an interview situation? Contact us today to find out more, or check out the rest of our candidate resources here.