Written by Sally Freeman – Co-Founder of DevelopHer
The idea for reboot your personal brand came from the thought that I had, that it is often much easier to rebrand for companies and organisations than for ourselves. I work in social media and branding and have often spent weeks and months on one project. So the challenge was, new year, new you, on a cold January evening, what could we achieve with 50 people in two hours? Could we help attendees reboot their personal image and help them achieve their goals for 2019? Could we potentially help them get their dream job and help create new opportunities in this new year?
The tickets went on sale and sold out in a day. The DevelopHerUK community clearly love this type of event and we realised it is much needed.
With a speed dating type feel, our attendees had half an hour with four amazing professionals to give each attendee skills to help them reboot their own brand. Including sessions on:
- Having a professional photograph taken to be used on CV’s, LinkedIn & Social.
- CV Workshop
- How to make your LinkedIn account stand out from the crowd
- How to pitch and communicate yourself in 45 seconds
“A picture is worth a thousand words”
Sue Lacey from http://www.Suelaceyphotography.com
Meeting the Experts
Sue Lacey specialises in business portraiture and knows it is essential to have an excellent business image. Sue captured the attendees in a way to show their character and personality. An absolutel essential element for Linkedin to social channels, a good business image communicates a strong message to clients. Our attendees have been over the moon with their new images and have instantly been used across their channels.
Maarit Lilley, luxury brand copywriter and PR helped attendees focus on the summary paragraph that is often used in the profile section of your CV or Linkedin.
Dani Barrett from Digitas is a self confessed Linkedin addict. She knows good Linkedin! Dani guided attendees through the do’s and don’ts of linked in, how to create unique URL’s and how to get noticed amongst hundreds of Linkedin profiles. Sharing her experience about what recruiters look for when they view a Linkedin profile was hugely useful to attendees. You need to make your linkedin profile stand out from the crowd.
So you have your picture, your CV and Linked in profile. What next? How do you convert this to real time conversations, be able to pitch yourself and grow your network?
How do you pitch yourself in real time? You are in the lift with the new CEO, how do you say “ Hello, I am … this is what I do and I would love to come and speak to you about a new idea I have”.
GSB Comms, experts in presentation skills, returned to give top skills in meeting new people, how to introduce yourself, pitch yourself and communicate that all essential elevator pitch in 15 seconds. Richard and Freddie facilitated attendees giving top tips on body language, communication skills and how to make an impact when meeting new people in a networking environment. Everyone loved the role play in the safe environment of the Syzygy offices. Richard challenged us to communicate key aspects of who we are and what we do within 45 seconds.
Top Tips & Learnings:
How to write an outstanding CV from Maarit Lilley:
- Be precise about the job you do and for how long you’ve been doing it.
- Be clear about which sectors you’ve worked in and your experience.
- Be concise.
- Keep your introduction profile up to 5 sentences only.
- List your key skills – up to 5 or 6, pinpoint your achievements and be bold.
– Say what you worked on, how you got that skill, how you applied and what the great outcome is.
- Claim your achievements and name drop well-known brands where you can.
E.g. led a team across international markets, dealt with financial budgets.
- You are not obliged to include age, marital status, kids or your nationality.
- Claim your positive outcomes and how you met your targets.
- Add in just a few interests to show more of your personality.
- Don’t waffle, use long sentences, repeat yourself or use clichés.
- Look out for typos and beware of using industry jargon and acronyms.
- Avoid using the word ‘passion’ – passion belongs in the bedroom. Try using words such as deeply committed, enthusiastic.
- Don’t let your CV be longer than 2 pages.
How to make your LinkedIn stand out for recruiters from Dani Barrett:
- Keeping your profile up to date is essential, even if it’s as small as moving location.
- When you’ve moved jobs, put the end date on your profile and add in your bio that you’re looking for opportunities.
- When you’ve been promoted in the same role – always give a snapshot of what you’re doing now, and how it was different then before.
- Create a customize URL – this looks better and cleaner when added to your CV.
- Always put information under your job title – approx. 3-5 bullet points that are the most relevant, especially when you’ve had a promotion.
- Once a week, start showing activity on LinkedIn. Share, like or comment on something you find interesting, this is the start of creating new networking processes – as your reach on LinkedIn can be greater then any other platform.
- Don’t be scared to post and share your accomplishments and self-promote in an authentic manner – e.g. either a project you worked on, or thanking others for their contributions. Try and get into the habit of doing it once a month, or more if possible.
- Use the promotions feature on LinkedIn, to let recruiters know you’re interested in a new role. Don’t worry, this won’t show up as visible to connections in your existing company.
How to sell yourself or build your own narrative from GSB comms:
- Remember we think and remember things in a world of pictures.
So when you’re explaining what your job role, make sure you’re describing rather then explaining. The stuff that sticks is often the description, so work on replacing some of the explanation of your role into a descriptive format.
One book to read is ‘Made to stick’ by Chip and Dan Heath.
- When describing what you do, simplify your terminology so that it’s easy to understand from anyone, whether they’re in your industry or not.
e.g. Example 1 “I’m a merchant marketing manager for online financial payments”
Instead try using example 2 “I help communicate to businesses how they can start getting paid online, so we can help these businesses grow their sales”.
- Don’t kill your 15-40 second intro by saying at the end ‘yeah but it’s boring’ or ‘yeah it’s alright’. Don’t play yourself down, make sure you end your introduction on a positive. Otherwise people will disregard you straight away.
- Body language has a huge impact on your passion. You don’t have to show your passion in what you do by over explaining or rambling on. In fact, expressing your smile and confidence in what you do in your body language can be more impactful then over-explaining.
- Portraying energy may not always be how fast and loud you can something. Practice expressing your passion in a calm way – so that what you’re actually saying comes across easily to the receiver.
Thank you to our expert team of communication professionals who gave of their time to DevelopHer so freely. Personally I have learnt how to speak through DevelopHer and this has facilitated me speaking at conferences all over the world.
The event was a huge success and we hope to run it again. We had lots of feedback about how enjoyable the event was and how our community enjoyed being with one another. Thank you to the amazing syzygy team who hosted us with delicious vegetarian and vegan food with lots of dry January soft drinks and wine. Thank you for logistics and general support of DevelopHer, we love to work with Syzygy London.
We would also like to thank Moo.com who gave us 20% off business cards. DevelopHer hope to repeat this successful event for those that didn’t get tickets first time around.
We hope we rebooted and kick started your 2019 and look forward to hearing your stories, please tweet us @developheruk or send us your success stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. See you at our next event.
Sally J Freeman