Personal branding

Which Doctor Would You Choose? Especially if He was Your Gynaecologist?

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to present at the first meeting of the Victorian chapter of Women in Drinks. I spoke to these successful leaders (70 women and one token man) about personal brand and the role it plays in our workplaces and lives.

I always start these presentations with contrasting visuals. Asking attendees which accountant, lawyer or doctor they would choose based on what they saw. On this occasion, I shared two pictures of doctors and asked them which doctor they would choose. This wouldn’t have been unusual, until I added, “Especially if he was their gynaecologist?” Aside from the audible and somewhat pained cringing by our token man, the audience all agreed they would choose the handsome, confident doctor over the confused, less attractive doctor.

As entertaining as this moment was, it brought home an important truth, we all judge people on first impressions. We all look at superficial markers like appearance when making decisions.  This will sound unfair, but because of this, women must work harder when presenting ourselves in the workplace. Unfair, yes, but unfortunately it is the truth.

We all make snap judgements based on appearance, it is just part of human nature. Women can be particularly harsh, towards themselves and towards each other. First impressions matter more than ever and having control of how people view you is critical to success in business, not just as a woman but for everyone. One statistic claims that a first impression is created in 7 seconds and it takes 20 more interactions to change that first impression. This means that online profiles and personal brand play a significant role in how we are viewed by our colleagues, peers and potential employees.

So, here are my takeaways from this event.  These are important for everyone, not just women. 

1. You will never be perfect.

Only female CEO’s have ever said to me that they won’t get their profile photos updated until they lose 5kgs. Seriously! Are there no fat male CEOs out there? Of course there are! Women however, can be more focused and have a much harder time overcoming this issue than a lot of men. Why does it matter? Profiles with professional photos are 14 times more likely to be clicked on.

2. Social media is dangerous.

What you post will be seen and no matter how harsh this might seem you will be judged for what you post. Drinking on the beach, partying on the weekend, dressing up in medieval costume and jousting on a Sunday… everyone will make a judgement. Often women are judged on a stricter scale then men, after all boys will be boys.

Our tip? Security, security, security. Make sure you have your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram security settings tight. Recruiters aren’t just looking at you on LinkedIn, if your security isn’t set they will see that photo of you from Friday night’s pie eating competition.

3. Acknowledging your achievements isn’t arrogance.

Your profile should highlight your achievements and successes throughout your career. This is a difficult thing to do, particularly for women who don’t want to sound boastful or arrogant. However, it is incredibly important. It is hard to write objectively about yourself, even for professional writers. So, if you can’t do it, get help.

4. Investing in you isn’t being selfish.

It can be hard to justify spending money or time on yourself, especially for women. There is always someone or something else making demands on our time and wallet. Our advice? Invest in making you your best self. Take time to think, time to recuperate, take time to learn.  Don’t rely on others to provide a career path for you… You need to create your own.

5. Get over yourselves!

There will be people in the world who will not like you or approve of what you say and do. That’s ok. Get over it and focus on the ones who do! It is essential that to attract the best talent, sales and job opportunities you need a great profile. Put in the time, if you can’t, get help.

As I said at the beginning, having control of how people view you is critical to success in business. Your online brand can have an impact on your career, your hiring and your overall success. Human nature won’t change, but your brand can.

Want to find out more about Personal and Leadership Branding? Contact us and we will put you on the registration list for our next Leadership Branding Seminar.

How Recruitment has Changed and How it Affects You.

At Chorus Executive we are often asked how recruitment has changed, or if it is still the same as it has always been. Our answer to this is yes and no. In the world of talent management, everything has changed yet nothing has changed.

The fundamentals are the same – understand what an employer or organisation needs, understand the skills, experience and motivations of a job seeker and match the two together.  Technology has, and will continue to have an impact on how we find and connect with talented people and how those same talented people find their dream jobs and dream managers.  In days gone by it was via expensive print advertising, now we use expensive internet advertising!!!

Historically, a lot of recruiting has been done by word of mouth, recommendations and who you know. You – the employer – remained relatively unknown to potential employees, until the interview stage.  Jump ahead to 2016, where by the time you interview a candidate they will have already made a decision as to whether you are an employer of choice and even more specifically, whether managers are managers of choice. Rest assured, top talent will leave no stone unturned to glean more information about a company and its’ leadership team.

As the industry continues to evolve there is one change that has and will continue to have a massive impact on everyone involved in the recruitment process; the visibility of your online profile. You may not have invested in building your personal brand or your company’s leadership brand but it is out there, visible and everyone’s a critic.  We frequently hear the comment, “it is not about me, it is about the company”. The reality is that the managers and leaders within the business are “the business”. The number one reason talented people come to and leave organisations is still the manager.

As an employer, your digital footprint is viewed by potential employees to see if you are the kind of person they would like to work with, future business partners decide whether you are worthy of doing business with or investing in and last but not least, your peers and colleagues determine whether or not you are an expert in your field.

A study conducted by LinkedIn found that candidates are twice as likely to respond to a recruiter who is representing a strong employer brand. Another study by found that 69% of job seekers would not accept a role with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed. They also discovered that 84% of people would consider leaving their current job if offered a role with a company that had a positive reputation.
In the war for top talent these statistics emphasise just how important your leadership brand is. There is still great importance and weight carried by first impressions, however these first impressions now take place online, without you even realising. When you do finally meet a potential hire face to face, they will have at least looked at your LinkedIn profile, your company website and quite possibly online reviews from former employees, customers and stakeholders.  It is imperative that you remember this, and that this person will know more about you and your company than you might think.
The weight that the online presence of a business and its’ leadership team now carries, inspired Chorus Executive to launch our Leadership Branding service. This service allows us to cater to the growing needs of our clients and guarantee they are making a strong and positive first impression. Contact us for more information on our Leadership Branding service.