On Monday, February 17th, I had the opportunity to speak with a group of job seekers at the Triad Job Fair in Kernersville.  It was an interactive exchange on Social Media and Branding.1898201_652952571435709_1678082217_n

I love this topic because every day there is a new way to utilize social media for business.  We owe it to ourselves to keep updated on the next, new, best thing but the reality is most of us have neither the time nor inclination.  So when I approach a workshop, I want to make sure participants have at least the basics.

I knew my topic and have a wealth of do’s and don’ts for social media, but I wanted a new and personal story for added impact. The day before I was to present I found it, or maybe it found me.

Sunday, started as one of those days that I would have much preferred going back to sleep over going to church.  However, while there, I ran into a dear friend I hadn’t seen in months and we decided to pack our work up and tackle it at her lake home.   Oh the reward for obedience!

We caught up on family and friends while walking down to the dock, and then we went back inside to get down to work. I was thinking about my workshop and she was finalizing her Monday reports..

Both of us realized work is much more enjoyable when you can look out on the wonder and beauty of nature. Once settled, I started outlining my workshop.  My friend, Mena Parrish, the General Manager of the J H Adams Inn,  High Point, NC,  was preparing for a new week, as well.

I love how Mena takes multi-tasking in stride and graciously answered my questions about social media and branding. photo 2

There is no question that with technological advances of today there is very little separation between our professional and personal lives.  (That’s pretty evident this day as we worked on two separate business models while enjoying the lake. Personal wi-fi in an otherwise cable-free zone allows it.)

My first question was simple: How can something you find on social media impact a current or potential employer?

She gave me this story that is a great lesson to us all: “Years ago, we had booked a big party for Architectural Digest during Furniture Market and I bought dresses for our staff that went with our theme.  I thought they were cute, but went on Facebook and saw one of my employees was complaining about ‘her boss’ making her wear some ‘stupid’ dress.  I posted in her comments section: ‘You never know who your friends are!’”

With a smile she added: “That post soon went away.” Now I had a real life story for my group that would resonate and hopefully have everyone thinking of prior posts.  The truth is: even if you are not friends with your employer on social media and even if they aren’t following you, negative comments always come back to haunt you! If not in your current job, they might keep you from the job you are seeking.

Best Advice:  Don’t post anything negative! I asked Mena about her top do’s and don’ts for posting to social media. She willingly shared these:
Don’t Post –

  • Your party pictures
  • Your risqué pictures
  • Crude comments
  • Negative comments
  • Abilities you really DON’T have

Do Post –

  • Family involvement pictures
  • Community involvement pictures
  • Pictures of you doing jobs you want

She advised:  “those family and community photos can show a prospective employer or current employer your level of loyalty and commitment.
If I know someone has a family but I never see a mention, it’s natural to wonder why.”

CaroljobfairAs expected, what Mena shared with me led to a lively discussion with job seekers at the Triad Job Fair in Kernersville, NC the very next day. In my workshop, we searched each other on line, to see what they could find out. We practiced making short video clips.  We perfected tag lines and key words that would link applicant skill sets to an employer search. My participants found, though, the exercises were much easier said than done.

They were looking for answers to these questions:
How would you describe yourself?
What do you want to do professionally?
Why do you like you and why should I?

I’ve learned in doing this for myself that the simplest questions can be the hardest to answer.
We can describe our friends but we have trouble describing ourselves.
We shy away from putting labels on what we really want.
We talk about things on social media that don’t forward our brand.

Here is where technology can be a very useful tool in defining and perfecting your brand.  We have every tool we need to update our look, image and message; on a daily basis. In many cases it is as close as a smartphone.

One of my favorite moments of the day came when we were able to show a participant how simple it is to update a profile picture.  Cindy Creed stood up and in the time it took to unlock the phone and pull up the camera, we had a picture that she is now using for her LinkedIn profile.Cindyjobfair

Here’s what’s cool, you can take as many ‘selfies’ or videos as your memory chip allows. If you don’t want to do it yourself, ask a friend to help.

What’s the point?  If you want something different you have to become your best advocate.  To advocate you have to be able to sell yourself in everyday conversation; a 6 second conversation.

Building confidence in defining your wants and abilities is key to landing the position or opportunity you want.  In other words, when you know your brand you can sell your brand.

I really have to thank the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce   for affording me the opportunity to share Finding Solutions for Media Presence to a wonderful group of local job seekers at this year’s Triad Job Fair.  Happy hunting, new friends!

Carol Andrews

As a Speaker, Journalist, TV Media Personality, Corporate Trainer, Author, Blogger, “Carol is the ‘real deal’ shares Anne Wear, former News Producer at WGHP Fox 8.

As a speaker and coach, Carol Andrews takes a common sense approach, laced with laughter, to inspire and help people of all ages to be their best. From children to CEO’s, she has helped audiences find tailored solutions to often difficult subject matter.

Seen by thousands as week-end News Anchor on WFMY-Channel 2- Greensboro, NC and currently writing her next book, Carol says the key to success is: Be Grateful, Be Respectful, Be Kind, and Be Willing to Laugh!

We want to welcome Carol Andrews as the newest addition to our Professionals here at “Simply” Sue Speaks!  Click Here to book Carol as your next Keynote Speaker or Seminar/Workshop Presenter.


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