By Michalle Faulkner, Managing Director

Throughout my working career I have spent many years in mentoring roles supporting other business women and new start up business owners and we often talked about and focused on the brand of “you”.

Whether you are a business person, a job seeker, or an employee that’s looking for the next new work opportunity, the representation of your brand or You Inc. is so important and I sometimes wonder how many people – day to day, consider the representation of their personal brand within their work environments, businesses and or to future employers.

CEO and Founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos quotes “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.

So what does your brand say about You Inc.?

As a private employment agency we are hired by our clients to source and attract new talent, specifically matched to the positions they have available within their businesses. In sourcing that ideal candidate, we are seeking both a combination of matched skills and expertise aligned with the key selection criteria for the role we are looking to fill but we are looking to ensure that the candidate we select has an aligned cultural fit for our client in both their personal values, career aspirations and their workplace attitude.

So – we absolutely care about the personal brand of the candidates we are considering and we take into account how the present themselves both throughout the application and selection process as well as during the interviewing and pre-screening.

The most important element of your brand is the first impression. You only have a very small window of time to make a good first impression so you need to make it count.  Sometimes this first impression comes at interview however in most cases its either the initial discussions around the application or the first phone contact. Personal branding is more than just what you’re wearing and how tidy your hair is.  It’s also the manner in which you interact with others and the attitude you display.

According to research from Monster (Job Search), in six and a half minutes into an interview, most recruiters have made an employment decision. This statistic demonstrates the power of first impression, which ranked second behind experience on the list of factors influencing the hiring process.

  • 93% of hiring managers said a candidate’s punctuality is important
  • 82% look for eye contact
  • 73% look at personal appearance
  • 60% are impressed with candidates ability to make small talk
  • 53% were influenced by the strength of the handshake

You just never know if that person that you are interacting with today in one business could potentially be your future employer or they could be so impressed by the personal brand you represent that they recommend or refer you to your next employment opportunity.

To assist you in being the best version of your brand that you can be, we have prepared a small list of things to be aware of that can negatively affect your brand:

Job Seekers

  • Poor personal presentation standards.
  • Not being punctual or failing to call to advise if you are running late for scheduled appointments.
  • Not turning up to pre-arranged interviews without any notification or communication around inability to attend.
  • Not having a professional phone greeting on your message bank for prospective employers to get the ever important first impression.
  • Not responding promptly to phone messages or email communications.
  • Being rude, aggressive or angry – job seeking is absolutely challenging but remember, how you represent yourself (first impressions) is so impactful to your success in securing work.
  • Being unwilling to complete additional skills testing or providing further information to assist the Agency in being able to validate your suitability for the role – if you are being asked to complete these steps then you are being progressed! This is a positive step forward in your job seeking quest.

Employee’s looking for new opportunities

  • Not working to the standard of your current employer – just because you might be seeking new opportunities make sure you don’t diminish your personal brand by checking out early!
  • Failing to provide required periods of notice – Most prospective new employers will respect and appreciate that you are required to provide your current employer with reasonable notice as per your contract or the NES
  • Not providing high levels of customer service – remember, the network groups, suppliers, colleagues and other people you interact with in your current role may be strong influencers in you securing a new opportunity or know people who are so what would you like them to say about your personal brand and how would you like to be remembered by your current employer?