“A great brand is a story that’s never completely told. A brand is a metaphorical story that connects with something very deep – a fundamental appreciation of mythology. Stories create the emotional context people need to locate themselves in a larger experience.”
Developing your personal brand not only allows you to deeply consider and clearly define how you're showcasing yourself to this world (as both an online and personal presence), it allows you the governance to attract the success you desire and reach the audience and network in sync with your authentic, transparent, personal, and professional style. Giving you the opportunity to skyrocket into your most sincere aspirations.
When writing your bio or profile summary – whether it’s for LinkedIn, your company website or your personal website – it is important to develop a clear and powerful brand that emanates the very best of who you are.
Are you reaching who you want to reach? Attracting who you want to attract? Are you telling them what they want to know?
When working with clients to develop a personal brand, I ask a lot of questions in order to isolate differentiation as well as marketable skills. This is not a process of self transformation, it is an opportunity to be seen for your true talents, skills, and character in a way that is marketable and reaches who you want to reach - enticing them to want to know more.
Everyone has a story that is waiting to be told and a gift that is waiting to be shared with the world. Developing your personal brand is a priceless investment in your future, and an opportunity to build and network with potential business partners and employers, or dive into other exciting ventures. Once you're out there, the possibilities are endless!
The world would like to meet you. Let me help you tell your story.
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born
More than just a skill, your superpower is your inherent strength driven by your deepest passions, wrapped in your essence, and cultivated by an unwavering sense of purpose. Knowing your superpower allows you to tap into your deepest source - your highest potential - and continuously bring the best possible YOU into all of your experiences.
If you would like to isolate your superpower, these 5 tips are certain to help ignite your search.
1. Think back to your childhood.
Think back as far as you can, to a time when nobody expected much from you and you weren't influenced by peers or fears. What did you do? How did you fill your days? What were you naturally good at? How could you interpret this to fit your adult world?
2. What gives you energy?
Notice the things that energize you and seem to come naturally. When was the last time you were so immersed in something you lost track of time, or forgot to eat or sleep? Do you have these experiences at work? Do your hobbies or other activities fall into this category?
3. Identify your best skill and combine it with your passion
Make a list of your skills, cross off anything that doesn't give you energy or keep your focus.
Using the first two tips as a foundation, look at the new list and cross off anything that you're not passionate about.
4. What is your essence?
Your essence is your life force, it is the energy you embody without any effort. Think of who you are when you're not doing anything, and who you are when you're doing everything. Without giving it much thought, what are the first three words you would use to describe yourself? If you're having difficulty, ask the people who know you best to give you three words. Here are some examples of words that might speak as your essence: versatile, sensitive, inquisitive, curious, positive, alert, nurturing, resilient, creative and responsive.
5. Bring it all together
Taking your essence, combined with your best skills and greatest passions, spin it in a way that speaks uniquely to you. This is your superpower. This is how you will market yourself to the world.
"Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement."
A well written bio is a not only a great vehicle to quickly communicate who you are and what you do, it is a brilliant opportunity to introduce yourself within a captivating story that showcases your personality alongside your professional achievements. As it's becoming more likely that your first impression will be made via Google search, you would be wise to grab hold of the reins, using these five tips to inspire a bio that does your personal brand proud.
1. Identify your mission – who do you want to reach?
Who are you trying to reach with this bio? Take some time to think about your audience and how you would like them to think about you. Is this strictly a professional bio geared to access potential employers or clients, a fun bio filled with witticism for your friends or a bio for your literary career or blog site? Before you begin writing try to identify the top three things you want your audience to know about you, then build from there.
2. Know yourself - what makes you unique?
This is your chance to show the person behind the accomplishments, so don't be afraid to share some quirks and spice it up with unique facts about yourself. What are your values? What are your superpowers? I find most clients I speak with don't realize how interesting they really are until we do a little digging. You can weave pieces of the big picture to tell the story about how and why you entered into your profession; showing that you are more than your work history and education.
3. Be sincere - what would your family, friends and past employers say about you?
It's not always easy to write about yourself, especially if you're trying to sound objective. Ask one of your previous employers to write you a recommendation. Ask friends or family members which three words describe you best. These are good methods to get the ball rolling and gather information for inspiration.
4. Take them on a journey - and lead them to what's next.
Link the content to ways of contacting you like your email, website and your LinkedIn profile, and end with your contact details.
5. Add intrigue - leave them wanting more.
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." –Maya Angelou
Be transparent and authentic, share tidbits of adventure, magic and a dash of emotion. Your biography is the story that paints your personal brand, and a good story always leaves the reader wanting more.
In celebration of today’s release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens – and in fond memory of a most referenced (and dutifully villainous) cinema icon – I thought it would be a fun challenge to write a professional profile of the Dark Lord in the same style I use to write bios and profiles for clients. Written from a first-person perspective, I have commemorated some of his finest and proudest career achievements as he subsequently turned from noble Jedi - Anakin Skywalker - into the most powerful Sith Lord in the universe
Career bio of a Dark Lord:
• To see the real power of a strong personal brand, read my post titled: "The power of personal branding".
• For inspiration and tips on how to write a captivating bio, read my article "Writing a powerful personal bio".
• To see more examples of bios, summaries, resumes & cover letters - and to get an idea of what I could do for you - have a look at my testimonials & examples page."The Force is strong in you"
Sending a thank you letter after a job interview is probably one of the most overlooked pieces of job-hunting advice. This isn't just a courtesy, it demonstrates a genuine interest in the position and company, and is pivotal for sealing the deal. No matter how confident you are in the success of the interview, failure to follow up may end up costing you the job.
A thank you letter not only allows you to reiterate why you should be the one they hire for the job, it is also a chance to remind them of some of the key-points you picked up in the interview. If there’s an important point you happen to have left out, this may be your opportunity to sway your potential employers to hire you into your desired role.
Keep it brief and clear, don’t sound desperate, and be sure to add something specific that you acquired from your meeting with the interviewer. It is best to send within 24 hour of your meeting, and to the personal email address of the hiring manager (or whoever conducted the interview). If you need a little extra guideline on how to follow up after your interview, here is a great article I found on Forbes with a diversity of information and tips to get you inspired.
If you need further assistance, I offer follow-up letters as one of my services.
You've made it past the first round and now it’s time to dazzle them in person. Many people dread job interviews so much it stops them from even applying; going under a microscope can feel uncomfortable for even the most confident and extroverted of us. With the right preparation, and a little shift in mindset, your nervous anticipation might magically switch to excitement for your next job interview. Here are some tips I have gathered based off of my wisdom, experience and research.
1. Become an online sleuth
Do your research, but take it to the next level. Find out as much about the business and the people in the company - especially if you know who's interviewing you. Find out if they like golf, or oil painting; if they're family oriented or adventure oriented. Find out about the company, which charities they've been involved in, awards they've won, general accomplishments. Use this information to find a common ground and try to weave it into the interview - naturally of course. Regardless if you get the opportunity or not, you will be happy you've prepared.
2. Develop your personal story
"So, tell us about yourself". You will get asked this in almost every interview. This is your chance to entice and compel. What they really want to know is how your person meets their company and the specific position. This is an opportunity to show them your gold, and make them want you more.
3. Ask insightful questions
Being interested makes you interesting. Skip the salary question, the start date, and the boring and obvious questions and take it to another level. This is an opportunity to show them you're genuinely interested in what you can do for them, as oppose to what they can do for you. Some great examples of these kinds of questions are:
"What are some of the biggest challenges/successes facing the department currently?"
"What process will be used to evaluate my employee performance?"
4. Be polite to everyone you encounter
On the way there, in the elevator and obviously to everyone you pass inside the establishment. It will brew the positive energy and get you primed for the big guys. Also, it's just nice to be nice.
5. Wear a conversation starter
Dress your best and consider a subtle fashion statement that adds some personality. Whether it's an ethnic piece of jewellery from your recent travels, or a tie with a unique pattern; you never know what might spark an interesting conversation and build a greater rapport. Use your research and judgement to gauge just how subtle or bold is appropriate for the company and position you're interviewing for.
6. Prepare for the diffcult - yet obvious - questions
"What do you do in your spare time?"
"What inspired you to get into this line of work?"
"Why do you want to work here?"
"What are you weaker points?"
"Tell us about an incident where you went above and beyond expectations?"
You may not get asked these exact questions, but there's nothing more nerve-racking and awkward than having to pause and think about how to answer something so simple. They want to know you, so know yourself.
7. Have the last word
The interview is over and you've been asked if you have any questions or anything to add; this is an opportunity to close the deal. Thank them, briefly state why you're excited to work there, and if you're really ambitious cut to the chase by asking this question: "Is there anything I've said, or any reason you know of at this moment that would make you not want to hire me?". It's bold, clear and courageous. Most of all, if they do have reasons, you will know for the next time and it opens up discussion and a rebuttal to close the deal. And let's face it, you want to know.
8. Follow up with a thank you note
Don't let them forget you. Sending an email summarizing some key-points from the interview and assuring them you're very interested in the position puts you back on their radar. It can also be a chance to say the one thing you forgot to say; or reiterate the one killer thing you did say. If you need further assistance, here's a great guideline for following up after an interview.
If you are somebody that already uses the world’s largest professional network, then you know that LinkedIn is an unbeatable opportunity for you to showcase yourself to HR managers and recruiters alongside your resume. It is a direct route to connect with a company, or someone within that company. There is no wonder it is the number one online platform for job-seekers and employers.
Having a good LinkedIn summary can go far in the industry. Many employers search their top applicants on LinkedIn before making the call for an interview. This is a great opportunity to further entice by sharing all of those great things you would like an employer to know about you, but that don't seem relevant to include in your cover letter.
Like any expression, there is an art to writing a good summary. Think of a great cover letter but with less bounds. This is your story, and everyone loves a good story.
If you need some inspiration to get going, here’s an amazing article I came across on Forbes. It is a guideline that I not only used for my own LinkedIn summary, but that I use when creating summaries for clients. For more examples of bios and summaries I have written, have a look at these free downloads.
Or for a finished example using these guidelines, you can check out my own personal summary here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericatremblay
"The future depends on what you do today."
If you're reading this post, perhaps you're already contemplating a change in your career path. Luckily you can turn your contemplation into action, and gain some clarity by quickly answering this series of questions.
Believe it or not, there are people out there who actually enjoy their jobs and find fulfilment in their careers. Sure, even the best jobs can be tiring and feel defeating at times, and I'm not saying you need to find perfection. I'm suggesting you take a solid look at whether or not you can do better, and if your current position is taking you to the place you want to go. By this time next week you could be on a new road well on your way to achieving your dreams – all without skipping a beat. Give me a call, get yourself properly branded, and see what else is out there. You have nothing to lose.
Instead of a summarized ramble of your resume (which will be submitted in the same email), see your cover letter as a prime opportunity to show some charisma, curiosity, and intrigue. Make them want to meet you, so you can make them want to hire you.
1. Immediately state something unique about yourself.
Consider throwing in an anecdote, for example, “I have over five years of formal education and experience to combine with my lifetime passion for this industry. Since I was a child getting dressed in the morning has been an expression of creativity, there was never any doubt that fashion was my future."
2. Study the company website.
Take note of something you find genuinely inspiring and express admiration. For example, if you are applying for a job at an architectural firm, you might say “the addition to the Art Gallery your firm designed is especially impressive, the contemporary concept gave it a fresh appeal, while keeping in flow with the original structure” This shows personality, expertise in the field, as well as specific interest in the company.
3. Keep it short.
No more than three paragraphs. Skip the verbosity, use clear and powerful statements, and wrap it up by simply stating – in your own words – how your talents and experience will make you good at the job.
Make sure you proofread carefully.
To download an example of a great cover letter, visit my dedicated blog post: example cover letter
It’s not what you do that matters, it’s how well you do it. Your resume really is a marketing campaign and employers do not care about your weekly assignments, they are interested in what you will do for them. Turning your duties into achievements is the easiest way to sell yourself and bring your resume up to a whole other level.
To do this effectively, simply start by creating a list of everything you did under you previous position titles. Can you recall a time when your superiors were really impressed or when you were especially innovative and took initiative? Did you go above and beyond your job description leaving the company with something to remember you by?
Now think, what was the outcome of my actions? Perhaps you cut work time saving the company money, came up with an amazing marketing strategy that increased profits by 46%, or organized an event that boosted company moral and increased business.
These are the sorts of things that will really make employers want to hire you. You are an investment to your employer, and making it known that you will serve the company in a way that makes their investment grow is really going to separate you from the other applicants.
For more on how to write a superior resume, visit my list of extraordinary tips: Extraordinary Tips Page.
Erica Tremblay is a master wordsmith with a dedication to helping people create their success. She writes as she lives: with a fine balance of mathematics and creative expression.