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Boosting Your Personal Brand on Paper

January 20th, 2017

Showcase your personal brand during your job search! Let your potential employers know who you are and what you stand for using just a few words, and make sure your message resonates and lingers in their minds long after they’ve moved on to the next applicant in the pool. Here are a few simple branding moves that can help you stand out.

Calm formatting

Your formatting and visual choices can speak volumes about your candidacy. A well-presented resume can tell the world that you have an eye for design, you understand the visual aspects of sales and marketing, you understand and respect your reader, and you have the professionalism and experience to know which moves work and which ones don’t. Start by keeping your text and your lines relaxed on the page. Don’t use tiny font or crowd your statements together. Instead, summarize your statements so they say everything they need to say without taking up too much space.

A dash of color

Some employers print out resumes in black and white in order to pass them around, or they transmit them by fax, in which case your color decisions may not come through. But that’s okay; use color anyway. Keep your color palate limited to two, black and one other (or three at the most). Stay stylish and understated, and choose a color that reflects your personal statement. Keep in mind that reds suggest passion, blues represent a cool head, yellow implies a sunny disposition, green means creativity, orange means friendliness, and purple implies dignity.

Simple themes

Simple themes and statements are easier to remember, so if you had to simplify your entire resume and cover letter into one sentence, what might that sentence be? What about five words? What about one word? You don’t have to do anything specific with that word, necessarily, but you should know what it is. Take that single, simple word and build the rest of your brand around it.

Give yourself a hook.

Your target employers have clearly stated in the job post that the position requires a master’s degree in accounting. They also have a bilingual, multinational client base. This means they’ll hear from hundreds of candidates with a master’s degree. But how many of these candidates will also speak Spanish? If you can offer a valuable skill in addition to and apart from what your employers will find in the rest of the applicant pool, leverage that skill. Give it a prominent place in your profile.

Use strong branding to keep your resume and cover letter at the top of the list and at the forefront of your employer’s attention. For more on how to do this, contact the Connecticut job search experts at Merritt.

Improve Your Leadership Skills: Three Moves

August 22nd, 2014

Regardless of their specific industry and specific goals, most successful leaders have a few core traits in common: 1.) They WANT to be successful leaders. They’re interested in bringing victory to their teams and organizations, not just grabbing at power for its own sake. 2.) They have high levels of social intelligence; in other words, they know how to shift their focus outward and assess the needs, fears and desires of other people. And 3.) they know how to share a vision that others can invest in and rally behind.

If you’re looking for new ways to inspire your teams, drive them forward, and earn their respect, try these three moves.

1. Keep your Ears Open.

Effective leaders don’t use one-way communication channels. They keep both ends of the line open and they listen twice as often as they dictate. Open your door, your ears, and your mind, and be ready to respond when employees ask for resources, information, and training that can help them do their jobs. You’ll also need to stay receptive to criticism and feedback on your own performance. And just listening won’t do the trick; you’ll need to actually respond and change your ways if you want to keep your teams behind you.

2. Words are Powerful…And Actions Are Even More So

Don’t neglect or underestimate the power of words. A well-crafted message designed with a specific audience in mind can move mountains and change the world. But in order to give your message real impact and your leadership real sustainability, you’ll need to follow through. If you want others to follow your orders, follow those orders first. Set an example in everything you do, and keep your promises, both stated and implied.

3. Don’t Mistake “Busy” for “Hard Working”

Take a close look at the most effective and respected people in your workplace at every position in the hierarchy. Are these people haggard, stressed, and stretched to the limits of their energy and attention? Nope. No matter how “busy” they may be behind the scenes, they don’t let their busyness become part of their demeanor or their personal brand. They always seem content, fully engaged and fully present no matter where they are or who they’re with. Those who seem distracted, restless, annoyed with their present company and wishing to be elsewhere are not granted the same respect.

For more on how to build loyalty and give your teams a sense of direction and purpose, contact the leadership and business management experts at Merritt.

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