A Brand New You

Helping YOU Create a Personal Brand for Career Success

Newest Career Zone Article: Perfect your Pitch!

Posted by julial727 on June 16, 2009

I refreshed a former article here on the elevator pitch and gave some samples. Enjoy the latest career zone article.

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Drexel University Career Zone Launches.

Posted by julial727 on May 26, 2009

I was asked to start writing a monthly article for Drexel University. The first article was posted last week in the “Career Zone” check it out and let me know what you think.

Posted in career, job search | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

You can find the “Inside Job”

Posted by julial727 on May 20, 2009

I recently came across a new application on facebook called <a href="http://www.apps.facebook.com/insidejob/Inside Job which many of you may be intereted in. It is a tool that says it replicates the best features of sites such as LinkedIn for use on Facebook. For those of you in the middle of a job search I would suggest you check it out.

It allows you to search for and contact other Facebook users based on where they interviewed, worked, or are currently working. You can get the inside scoop on your prospective employer before you interview with them. Hiring managers can find the right people to hire.

InSide Job users can also:
• Get the inside scoop on their prospective employer before the interview;
• Search for and post jobs:
• Network with people in similar fields; and
• Find the right people to hire as service providers.

Posted in Branding, career, Facebook, job search, LinkedIn, networking, social media | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Five Ways For Fantastic Follow-up!

Posted by julial727 on May 18, 2009

business cardFive Ways for Fantastic Follow-Up
Do you find yourself out at networking events and job fairs collecting your fair share of business cards and contact information? What do you do with them? Having a desk drawer full of business cards and contact information is not going to bring you new business or help you land your dream job.

Follow-up. Most people know they need to do it, but many fail miserably at trying to achieve it.

I can’t think of the number of times when a vendor called me trying to get business, I ask questions or for additional information. They tell me they will get back to me soon and never do. Or when a friend of mine had a few interviews, but never sent thank you letters… In this economy, I find it hard to believe that people are not hustling to get a new job or bring in new business.

If you are looking to expand your network, find a new job or grow your business, mastering the art of following up is critical. Here are a few simple tips on how to have fantastic follow-up.

Be Timely – If you have a job interview or meeting with a potential client. Follow up immediately. Send a hand written thank you note. Everyone emails, and your handwritten efforts will come across as classy. Don’t wait a week to send a thank you. If you tell a prospective client you will get them further information, get them the information and then follow-up after to see if they have questions and close the deal.

Be consistent – Meeting someone once is not going to land you the job or bring new business. Repeated and consistent contact is important. I keep a tickler file which will prompt me to contact certain people in my network. I find specific articles or white papers of interest that I may share with specific people in my network to let them know they are on my mind and to remind them I am out there in case they need me.

Use your tools – Follow-up can be by phone, email, in person, fax and social media. Use a variety of methods for constant and timely follow-up. If you call someone to set up an appointment and do not reach them leave a message and then in a few days, try sending them an email. If you email someone your resume, follow up with a phone call. Mail someone an article clipping, letter or marketing brochure and include a personal note. Utilize social media tools to connect with people that you meet and invite them for coffee or to an event of mutual interest.

Stay organized -Keep all of your contacts in one central place. If you use a smart phone, keep your information there so it is easy to access, or use a contact management system such as an excel spreadsheet, ACT or salesforece.com. Keep record of when/where you meet someone and what you have reached out about. That way when you follow up next you will be prepared to continue to move the relationship forward.

Manage your messages- No matter what method you use, be mindful to personalize your follow up, no one likes to get chain letters, forwarded jokes or contacts that have nothing to do with them. It is appropriate to reach out to say thank you, ask for an informational interview or to see if you can meet to discuss mutual interest such as prospective clients. Your goal is to reach out to exchange information.

Posted in career, job search, networking, social media | 2 Comments »

Do you let work into your playground?

Posted by julial727 on May 6, 2009

playground1I went to Costa Rica last weekend for a friends wedding and upon my return logged into Facebook and uploaded some photos from the trip. While online, I noticed a friend request from a co-worker. Do I invite this colleague onto my social networking playground? Many of you have had similar requests from professional contacts to join your social network.

Similar to work-life balance I have a networking-social balance. I primarily participate in three social networking sites: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. I use LinkedIn for business networking purposes and Facebook for most of my personal/social interaction. I only Twitter things that would be appropriate for both audiences. I personally like to keep my two worlds separate, but realize that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to play in separate playgrounds.

While my trip to Costa Rica was for a friends wedding and not a scene from a college spring break, I have to wonder if I would really want my co-workers to see photos of me dancing the night away, or sitting poolside with an umbrella drink.

As you are navigating your own social networking playground, pay attention to what equipment you play on and who you ask to play in your sandbox.

It’s a delicate balance on the seesaw and I find it best that I establish boundaries between the two social networking sites. Typically, when a professional contact requests to be my in my network on Facebook, I immediately go to LinkedIn and send a connection request to them letting them know that my professional networking site of choice is LinkedIn and that I use Facebook for close friends and family. This seems to have worked well for me.

We all know employers and recruiters use the Internet and social networking sites to find information on potential candidates. And not enough people remember that photos, comments on many social networking sites and blogs can last forever.

Posted in Branding, career, Facebook, job search, LinkedIn, social media, Twitter | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Secure Your Brand

Posted by julial727 on April 27, 2009

I was reading an interesting article by Brian Krebs that I want to pass along to everyone about keeping your personal brand secure when it comes to social networking sites.

Planting Your Flag at Social Networking Sites an article in the Washington Post discusses that if you have not embraced social media, you might want to at least consider making claim on your name or personal brand before someone else does. The article further mentions a website called knowem.com which allows you to check to see if your name, brand or nickname is already registered at approximately 120 social networking sites. There is a fee of $65 for the search but knowem.com will register all available accounts on your behalf.

While I don’t think you need to rush out to use the knowem.com service, I do think it is wise to think about your brand and protect it when/where you can.

Posted in Branding, career, General Thoughts, social media | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Six Ways To Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

Posted by julial727 on April 21, 2009

I work in a large multi-tenant midtown Manhattan office building and have had the pleasure of listening in on many “elevator pitches.” Granted, most elevator pitches don’t actually happen in an elevator. Often you only have the length of time it takes a potential client to walk down the hall to their office or an investor to drink a glass of wine. There is a lot of pressure to get your message across in a clear, concise and unique manner in a short period of time.

Establishing your personal brand in your elevator pitch is as important as it is in an online profile or your resume. The point of the pitch is to pique the interest of your potential client or new acquaintance just enough so that they will want to continue the conversation. The desired result is the opportunity to go to the next step – a follow up phone call, meeting, interview or referral.

Here are 6 ways to make sure your pitch gets a noticed:

Know your objective: Are you looking for a new job? Do you have a new product or service to inform others about? Did your company win a new client or prestigious award? What story do you want to tell? If you know your objective it will help you craft the right message.

Know your audience: Tailor your pitch to your specific audience. That means you will need multiple versions of your pitch that you can mix and match depending on who you are talking to and what your objective is. If you are pitching to a potential investor, focus on how you plan to make money. If you are pitching to a potential employer, explain how you do your job better than anyone else. A potential customer, what problem can you solve for them.

Be passionate and creative: Make your pitch personal and show your excitement and passion for what you do. Grab the person’s attention with your creativity.

Speak in grade school english: Your audience may not know the technical aspects or acronyms of your industry. You may lose your audience if you speak in abstracts, consultant speak or techno babble.

Listen: Conversations are two way streets. People love to talk about themselves so ask questions that engage your audience and then be quiet and listen. You will gain valuable information and ideas and expand your contacts.

Finish the pitch: Your goal is to get a business card and permission to follow up with a phone call.

Posted in Branding, career, job search | 1 Comment »

Personal Business Cards

Posted by julial727 on April 20, 2009

 Staying on the topic of spring cleaning… I cleared off my desk and found a stack of business cards. As I was looking through the stack I realized a few of the people in the stack are now out of work. I wonder how many of those people have created personal business cards for their job search.

When you are in the process of looking for a new job and networking, utilizing a business card as a marketing tool is imperative and can help differentiate you from others. Be mindful of your personal brand as you create your card.

Besides the basic benefit of utilizing a personal business card so that potential employers and people in your network have your basic contact information a well thought out card can also provide information on the kind of job you are targeting and your unique skill set. Including things like your job focus, objective, skills or unique accomplishments.

If you can afford it, I recommend having your cards printed professionally. That way you can ensure the design and content are consistent with your personal brand. If you can’t afford professionally made cards, you can print your own using stock bought at any office supply store or order them online for free utilizing vista print. I met a man at a networking event recently that started a website called Your Business Card Sucks. It might give you a little insight into good and bad design aspects of business cards.

Keep your cards in a card holder so that when you had them out they look new. Your card is an extension of your personal brand and image. If they are worn, bent or dirty what kind of impression will someone have of you?

Bring your cards with you everywhere you go. I mean everywhere. There are going to be many times when you won’t have a resume handy or it won’t be an appropriate situation to hand a resume to someone. Your personal business card will do the trick, and don’t forget to ask for one in return. Once you do, don’t forget to add that person to your LinkedIn contacts.

Posted in Branding, career, job search | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Spring Cleaning

Posted by julial727 on April 18, 2009

Today is one of the first beautiful days in New York and I realize it is time to put away my bulky sweaters and winter wardrobe and pull out my shorts and flip flops. Spring cleaning is not for closets alone, but can also be used as a time to reflect on your personal life and make changes for the future.

Take some time to think about areas in your life which could use some attention. One such area that many people ignore is their online personal brand. When was the last time you brushed off the cobwebs on your LinkedIn profile or updated your Facebook page? Chances are, it has been a while.

Think of how many opportunities you are missing out on because you have incomplete or stale information online. Having a complete and updated profile gives you an advantage in the marketplace. The more up-to-date and specific you are in your profile, the easier it will be to be found online by colleagues and recruiters. Think of it as your own personal version of search optimization.

Once you have updated your profile online, begin to update your network. It is one of the most valuable assets you have and will greatly help in expanding your job search or career advancement. Most social networking sites give you the ability to upload your address book and see who in your network is already utilizing that service. Connect with those people immediately. Then, invite other people and begin to expand your network further. It is amazing to see how vast your network truly is after you put a little effort into it. The job of your dreams might now only be only a degree or two away because you connected with someone you met recently at a work or charity event.

Don’t wait until spring cleaning or the loss of a job in order to update your online profile or cultivate your network. The key is to continually update your profiles and expand your network so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Posted in career, Facebook, General Thoughts, job search, LinkedIn | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Follow the Leaders

Posted by julial727 on April 7, 2009

I have always had an easy time meeting people and making friends.  As a child, my parents always called me a social butterfly.  When I think back to my childhood where my networking skills began, I think of the game follow the leader.   It was usually pretty easy to identify who the leader was, all you had to do was look at the front of the line and follow along wherever they went.

How do you play follow the leader as an adult?   Utilizing social media tools can get you in front of industry leaders, it just takes a little effort.

Today I will focus on Twitter as I believe it is one of the easiest to participate in and, in some ways opens doors to industry leaders in a way unlike most other social networking tools.  Did you know that CEO’s of major corporations use Twitter and LinkedIn? Back in the fall BusinessWeek ran an article about Tweets from Chiefs.   You can have open conversations with the experts and build your network and personal brand with ease. 

First, you have to sign up for a Twitter account and create your micro-bio (140 word profile).  Next, import and search all of your professional friends, acquaintances and family and start to “follow” them on Twitter.  Pay attention as you are reading your Google alerts, industry blogs and figure out which experts in your industry are using Twitter and follow them as well.  When you follow people many times they follow you back.

Pay attention to the conversations that are happening around you on Twitter and then start to get involved.  “Tweet” (reply to) posts when you have something interesting to contribute to the conversation. Add your own insightful observations, links and content about your area of interest or focus.  Do this every day and watch how your network will grow and you will begin have real dialogue with industry experts that you would never had access to before. 

Follow the leader on Twitter and who knows when the leader might just be you. Want to learn more about Twitter and how to start? Check out the

CNET newbie guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in General Thoughts, social media, Twitter, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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