Branding is really about business, how to package yourself in such a way so you are literally “picked” from the shelf. In today’s competitive job market, you will need to rely on more than your skills to get a position and establishing a personal brand will set you apart.
1. From your resume through to your interview outfit, pick a color that defines you and use it as part of your brand. The idea is to use a power color, for example red, and apply it to all your dealing with a prospective employer. How you apply depends on the industry. For example you would be more subtle in applying for a job with a law firm that an ad agency.
2. Pick a symbol in your color that you can use on your correspondence. A red dot, a red square, etc next to your contact details is sufficient. You don’t need to hire a branding firm, any geometric recognizable symbol will do. The simpler the better. All follow up or confirming e-mails prior to your actual interview should carry through with this symbol or brand. Use it as part of your signature.
3. When you arrive at the interview, make this color part of your interview outfit. If you think a red power suit is appropriate then wear it. Or it can be a red career bag, red glasses, red scarf, red shoes, etc. But remember that research with the company HR on appropriate dress or visiting the company sub rosa before your interview, will both stand you in good stead. Even with red you can be relatively conservative.
4. Follow through with your business cards. If red is your brand color, then your business cards need to show that. If you are seeking a position with an ad agency, maybe your entire card can be red. If it’s the law firm job you are after, possibly just your name would be red and you would choose a dark red, not a screaming red.
5. A personal color will brand you if you use the color consistently. Make sure that you wear the color at all subsquent interviews with the prospective employer and if you get the job continue using the color with your clothing an accessories.
Marsha Hallet has more than 30 years experience in the fashion industry, the last 26 with her own company Hallet Handknits and this year with her new business Hallet Sweater Art. Her educational background is a BA from Stanford and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA, and she also currently studies figure drawing and Spanish.
Her point of view is optical illusion dressing. At Sweater Art she uses color and line to flatter a women’s figure. Her interest is in promoting professional dressing for women. Her power sweaters make a statement and are polished pieces for an executive business casual wardrobe.
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