Your cover letter creates a first impression on paper and is a way to connect with the reader and earn you the right to have your resume reviewed.
Your branded resume creates an accurate picture of your goals, purpose, strengths, skills, experiences and passions as they relate to the role you seek—in factual, rational and emotional terminology.
Your branded bio is the authentic representation of who you are as a person and how others perceive you when they interact with you. It highlights not only your pertinent strengths, passions, goals and purpose but describes the benefits and experiences others can expect as a result of knowing and working with you.
A thoughtful show of gratitude, especially in the form of a handwritten note, acknowledges the opportunity you have been granted by another person who was willing to dedicate time and attention to hearing about your aspirations. It is an opportunity to memorialize specifics of your interaction and cement the impression of your unique promise of value.
Together, all four of these branded tools provide the basis of your brand on paper. They begin to create an impression before you even walk in the door. For now, we’re going to focus on your branded bio.
Here’s a before and after example of a fictionalized student’s bio: before and after bio.
Follow the three steps below to turn your current bio into a branded bio
Find your most current bio. You can use your LinkedIn summary or other social networking profile as the “before” version of your bio if you don’t have one. If you don’t have any of these, write a paragraph about your accomplishments.
Incorporate what you learned about your brand
Take a look at what you have learned about yourself in all the preceding activities. Then distil it by identifying the strengths, motivated skills, passions, purpose and values that are most important to you. (Think about things that make you relevant, differentiated and compelling.) Edit your current bio to include those branded elements. Use examples to back up what you say make you exceptional. Remember, you’re telling a story—one that will captivate its readers.
Take a look at your bio and make sure it is:
….Easy to understand
Once you have refined your bio, test it out with friends, peers, professors, mentors, etc. to get their opinions and make any further edits. Now, with your final version, you can:
Post it to social networking sites to increase your online brand—this will help increase volume and relevance of your online content
Building your social media toolkit
Chances are you are already using social media in a variety of ways. The lightning speed with which the internet has changed the way we communicate has created vast advantages as well as some considerable drawbacks when it comes to maintaining a positive and consistent personal brand.
Social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube can help you express your brand to a much larger audience. You want people to see the real you in the virtual world. But, are they always seeing your best self? It depends. The virtual world, just like the physical world, can judge you by the company you keep. Even worse, the virtual world never forgets.
It is important to remember that what you put on the internet is captured there for posterity. Not only can your current network access this material, so can your future contacts, employers and network influencers. At lightning speed you can positively or negatively impact your brand. Let’s make sure you’re using those superpowers for good. In this activity, we’ll help you analyse your online reputation and make a plan to align it with your real-world brand.
Click the link below to use the Online ID Calculator. This tool will help you see how your brand currently shows up.
What does Google say about you?
Use the Online ID Calculator to understand how your brand shows up on the web. After searching for yourself on the internet and answering a series of questions, you’ll receive your results along with advice for enhancing your virtual visibility. After you have used the Online ID Calculator, document your plans for enhancing your virtual brand.
First, assign a priority to the work you want to do to improve in each of the measures of online ID: 1 = very important; 2 = somewhat important; 3 = less important. Give each of the five measures a priority.
Online measures: Volume, Relevance, Purity, Diversity, Validation
Select one or two of the highest priority items on your list and document the related action plan to improve in this area. Make sure to refer to the supplemental videos on each of these virtual visibility areas.
The actions I will take to improve my virtual visibility and online presence are:
… Update my LinkedIn summary.
… Update my Facebook page.
… Update my branded bio on my blog, vlog or website.
… Create/update my YouTube channel profile.
… Create/update my Google profile.
… Create a short version of my branded bio to include in job applications, etc.
… Create a personal portal (e.g., about me, flavors.me, etc.) and include my branded bio.
… Update my 160-character Twitter profile.
… Create a version of my branded bio for the about me section of a cover letter.
… Use it to create a branded video bio and post it to YouTube and other video sharing sites.