Article Summary: In the corporate world, a unified message is critical to your career success. Imagine you meet Jana, a hiring executive, at an event. Based on your brief encounter, you know she likes you since she mentioned the possibility of an available position. What do you think she’ll do first thing tomorrow morning? You can bet it will be an online search. What will she find? Unifying your career communication will set you apart from your competition. It will ensure your target audiences read and hear a consistent selling proposition, supporting messages, key words, success stories, and accomplishments. Are you ready for her search? It is time for your communication audit! [This article was originally written for the American Marketing Association Executive Circle]
COMMUNICATION AUDIT – 10 CRITICAL COMMUNICATION ELEMENTS FOR YOUR CAREER SUCCESS
Copyright © 2011. The Chief Storyteller®, LLC.
Ira J. Koretsky
As in the corporate world, a unified message is critical to your career success. Imagine you meet Jana, a hiring executive, at an event. Based on your brief encounter, you know she likes you since she mentioned the possibility of an available position. What do you think she’ll do first thing tomorrow morning? You can bet it will be an online search. Are you ready for her search?
What will she find?
Will she find a dynamic and compelling profile on LinkedIn®? On Facebook? On Twitter? On YouTube? How about articles, blog posts, and tweets you authored? Press releases with quotes of yours? Slide presentations from conferences you spoke at? And the list goes on…
After she reads these varied resources, what will Jana think about you? Will she see a professional with a unified message? Or someone with a disparate career story?
It is time for your communication audit! Unifying your career communication will set you apart from your competition. A communication audit ensures your target audiences read and hear a consistent value proposition (what we call a Better Tomorrow Message™), supporting messages, key words, success stories, and accomplishments.
Among the many questions you should be asking yourself are the five important ones listed below. Thinking through these will start you on the path of unifying your career communication story elements. The answers to them all must be a resounding “yes!”
ASK YOURSELF THESE FIVE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS – START YOUR AUDIT
- Are your social media sites unified for key messages, your Better Tomorrow Message™, and personal brand attributes?
- Are your recommenders ready to communicate the right messages to recruiters and prospective hiring companies?
- Do your written materials accurately portray your skills and accomplishments?
- Will your LinkedIn profile quickly impress readers?
- Do the success stories (e.g., bullet statements) on your resume also appear in similar formats and key messages in your tweets, blogs, and LinkedIn profile?
Based on your situation and expectations of your target audiences, identify the career communication elements with the highest potential impact. Then map out a plan for completing the top one to three elements next week. Develop the schedule over the coming month to complete and revise the remaining ones.
Perform your audit. Look for consistency across all of your career communication elements. Look for consistency in key words and phrases, the tone of voice in your messages, and the attributes of your Better Tomorrow Message™.
- LinkedIn (especially your professional headline, picture, and summary)
- FaceBook (especially your picture and information tab)
- Twitter (especially your background image and profile)
- Blog (especially your most recent five to seven postings and profile)
- Cover letter
- Recommendations (these are the specific and deliberate written recommendations in letters and in LinkedIn)
- Success stories/accomplishments
- Ideal Company Profile
- Elevator Pitch/your answer to “Tell me about yourself”
“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”
— David Ogilvy
Photography Source: iStock
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