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Creating your own personal brand when looking for a job in your 50s


creating a personal brand for jobsearchArticle by Ceri Wheeldon

As soon as you start looking for a new job, you need to start looking at yourself as a ‘brand’. You need to be clear about what you can offer a prospective employer, and make sure that you are able to communicate your message and your capabilities, effectively and consistently.Think of yourself as being a marketing director – and the product you need to define and sell is you!

Your ‘brand’ must be consistent on paper, online and face to face.

What does your CV say about you?

Have a former colleague read your CV. Does it accurately describe ‘you’ and what you can offer a new employer. Are you highlighting the right skills and abilities, using the right titles and keywords, which will make your cv stand out and demonstrate your suitability for the role?

What email address are you using for potential employers to contact you? An email address based on a nickname may be great to use with friends or family – but may not give the right impression when looking for a job. Similarly , if you have a personalised message on your phone, make sure it sets a professional tone. I once had to contact a very senior individual to discuss a high profile role – he had recorded his personalised message singing along to the Birdie Song – he was remembered for the wrong reasons!

Social media profiles and jobsearch

Google your name online – do your social media profiles enhance the message you are aiming to get across. It is crucial that you monitor all social media (sauch as twitter, linkedin and facebok) activity to ensure that any prospective employer will only gain a positive and realistic impression of you. Don’t be negative in your comments about your jobsearch activities. In fact don’t be negative full stop! Any prospective employer will want to hire a positive addition to their workforce – no moaning minnies are in demand – at any age! Would a blog help to highlight your professional capabilities – if you haven’t already started one, the wordpress and blogger are both worth looking at – at this stage you are not looking to attract thousands of readers – but you would have the ability to further expand andshowcase your expertise and abilities. Placing a link from your cv to your blog would also help to expand on the information available to a prospective employer- without adding additional pages to your cv.

Particularly in your 50s you need to ensure that you convey that you are positive, forward thinking, healthy, adaptable, sociable and ready for change.

First impressions count

Look in the mirror and ask a good friend to be totally honest – does the way you present yourself, both visually and verbally inspire confidence in your ability to do the job you are applying for? Do you come across as energetic or do you look tired? Do you look polished or dowdy? Do you need to add a splash of colour to your outfit? Are shoes polished, hair looking groomed? Will you be remembered for the right reasons when you leave the room following an interview? If you are applying for a role where creativity is key, how you present yourself at interview must reflect this. Similarly if you are applying for roles where you will be in a position if authority, you need to exude an air of calm confidence – and dress accordingly.

Consistency is key across all areas and elements of creating ‘Brand You’.

Wishing you luck with your jobsearch.

Until next time…..

Ceri

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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