Branding Workshop: How to Stand Out

July 26, 2017

On July 25, 2017, 50 NYWICI members — from recent college grads to seasoned professionals — participated in a branding and resume workshop at Bloomberg's headquarters in New York. If you missed the event, here are a few essential tips to help you make your mark.

Your LinkedIn Profile

Every branding effort starts with a professional LinkedIn profile, says Amanda Fox (below, at right), a senior recruiter at Bloomberg. A good LinkedIn profile increases your professional credibility, and the main goal is to stand out and get noticed. Here are other points to keep in mind when creating your LinkedIn profile, which is your “online business card”:

  • Your profile picture is very important; keep it professional and updated.
  • Add a specific title that clearly identifies you; don’t use internal company terminology but identify your business unit, company and region.
  • Add public info and contacts, social media links, email etc.
  • Change the default URL to your profile and customize it.
  • In your intro summary, tell a story, use a concise statement (who are you, why are you interested in your field/industry, what is your experience and expertise); keep it short and always write it in the 1st person. Most people don’t have a summary on their page, so yours will stand out.
  • Add your experience and skills, roles, responsibilities, key contributions and how you solved problems.
  • Add links to portfolios, videos, whitepapers, pictures, volunteer experience, mentoring and service projects.
  • Amanda FoxConnect with others in your industry — but don’t send connect requests to people you don’t know. Don’t automatically accept connecting requests from people you don’t know — unless the connection could be helpful (i.e. recruiters). Try not to use the connect default message but personalize the message to stand out.
  • Get recommended. 
  • Specify "I am interested in...." And as an entrepreneur, make it clear that you’re open to working with clients/companies by stating that you would be available as a vendor or contractor.
  • Customize headlines when sharing articles; edit your posts to garner interest.
  • Mind your tone.
  • Respect data privacy.
  • Follow groups on LinkedIn and become active in them because, as Amanda stresses, “recruiters go through groups to view potential recruits!”

After the keynote address, attendees were invited to have their headshots taken, to share their resumes in brief one-on-one sessions with five Bloomberg recruiters or to attend informal roundtable discussions on branding, networking, interviewing and professional presence. 



Dianne BaranelloAt the table discussing networking tips, NYWICI coach Diane Baranello (at right), principal at Coaching for Distinction, chatted about networking fears, and she shared tips and tricks how to make the best of meeting others outside of one’s own comfort zone.

Key takeaways included:

  • Try to research the people that you are networking with.
  • Make sure that you know exactly what you want people to know about you; pitch specific points.
  • Know exactly what you want to get out of the event.
  • Try to go to events by yourself so that you have to mingle and meet new people.
  • If you want to get something, you first have to give something.


The Perfect Elevator Pitch

Robyn HatcherExecutive coach Robyn Hatcher (at right), NYWICI’s vice president of Professional Programming and the founder of SpeakEtc., shared her insights at the “How to Pitch An Effective Elevator Pitch” table (she prefers to call the “elevator pitch” an “intro-mercial”). Robyn helped each attendee phrase that short and sweet intro that has the power to make you stand out, be memorable and appear professional. Her advice in finding that perfect pitch included:

  • Start with the why — and make it emotional.
  • Emotion sells — logic tells.
  • Highlight your strengths.
  • Talking about yourself is not bragging but sharing.

In addition, Robyn stresses five ingredients of a “delicious intro-mercial”:

  • Engage Them
  • Inform Them
  • Assure Them
  • Seduce Them
  • Invite Them


Interview Tips & Tricks

Christine HauerBloomberg recruiter for Media & Industry Verticals, Christine Hauer (standing at far right), shared stories about interviews she conducted at Bloomberg with candidates applying for a job at her company. She acknowledged that Bloomberg hires job applicants at every career level and age. When asked about how to ace a job interview and come across as genuine and professional, she advised:

  • Always research the company before you come in for an interview.
  • Spin what you have done and how you fit in with the company.
  • Learn about the employer’s objectives in the long and short term, and then explain how your experience can fit in and help them.
  • Be honest and give examples when you talk about actions and results — even if the results were bad. Then share what you did to overcome any bad results.
  • Show that you understand the big picture — and how you can help.


Related Reading:

Becoming Your Own Brand (NYWICI past event). 

You may also be interested in reading transcripts of past NYWICI Twitter Chats on the same topic: Positioning & Personal Branding with cohost Selena Soo (@SelenaSoo) and Personal Branding with cohost Joanne Jombrakos (@joannetombrakos). 

10 Ways LinkedIn Can Build Your Brand and Generate Leads (Instapage)


Slideshow images: Jan Goldstoff


Posted by: 
Tekla Szymanski

Six Personal Branding Lessons

July 18, 2017

Aloud Blog Pro

I’ve had many conversations over the past few years with executive coaches and personal branding strategists on how to build and sustain a strong personal brand. Here are a few insights they shared with me on why it is important to remain vigilant in managing and protecting our personal brand.

The Difference Between Success And Failure Comes Down To Three Simple Steps:

According to Diane Baranello, former NYWICI Board member and president of Coaching for Distinction, those steps are:

  • Build your brand on your core strengths and values. Know what you stand for. If you don't know what you stand for, no one else will. 
  • Define yourself around what makes you unique and what sets you apart. Develop a plan that differentiates you from the competition. Blending is not an option.
  • Communicate an authentic and consistent image in everything you do.

Brands Are More Than A List Of Subjective Adjectives:

According to Rachelle J. Canter, Ph.D., president of RJC Associates and author of Make the Right Career Move, "focus on objective hard-hitting results and achievements. Since the best predictor of future performance is past performance, your results make the strongest impact on others. Defining and operationalizing your brand in concrete, factual and quantifiable terms is not only the most powerful approach to market yourself, it is a more comfortable way for women to market themselves. So, rather than say ‘I'm a smart, dedicated, persuasive and incisive leader,’ take the ‘just the facts, ma’am’ approach by sticking to describing what you’ve actually done, what objective indicators of extraordinary customer service you have displayed, time or money saved, service improved, etc." 

"To kick start your list, remember that depth and breadth are often sources of competitive advantage. Customize your brand to your particular audience, emphasizing specific things that mean the most to them. This enables you to simultaneously market yourself and reinforce relationships by focusing on how uniquely well qualified you are to help them. You brand and reinforce the relationship by making it all about them.”

Your Brand Gets To The Next Place Before You Do:

Selena Rezvani, author of PUSHBACK and The Next Generation of Women Leaders, adds that "people will know you — even those whom you’ve never met — based on the way in which in you interact with others, how you present yourself, and what kind of reputation you’ve developed. That means that you want to be proactive in sculpting your brand, as you’d like it to be, rather than merely reacting and ‘putting out fires’. One way you can do this is to think about your career with the end in mind. When you leave this company one day, how do you want to be remembered? When people consider the impact of your career, what will come to mind?"

"Figure out the legacy you’d like to leave and allow that to be your guiding vision, just the way a company creates a vision statement to which they strive. By understanding your legacy, you will shed light on the brand you want to create and have a decision making tool against which to measure your actions.”

It Is Never Too Late To Join ‘The Personal Branding Club’:

According to Catherine Kaputa, president of SelfBrand and author of Graduate to a Great Career, You Are a Brand, Women Who Brand and Breakthrough Branding, “the strength of your personal brand influences your marketability which, in turn, influences your current earnings and the financial value of your career.” Think of it this way: the more we earn, the more free cash we have available to save, which has the potential to make our golden years in retirement all that more golden. Catherine offers a list of “must-do” action steps for thinking and acting like a brand:

  • Leverage the power of a first impression: The first 15 seconds and your first 15 words are the most important.
  • Have 3 accomplishments and 3 stories: Don't talk functional responsibilities; tell stories about three projects or accomplishments that demonstrate what you can do in the new job.
  • Find sponsors: We've all heard about networking and finding a few key mentors, but those who out-compete others also find sponsors. A sponsor is a senior executive who will advocate for you and introduce you to others.
  • Pose powerfully: Studies show that certain poses project confidence and power, such as leaning in when others are speaking to you while other poses brand you as a wimp.
  • Think of your resume as a narrative: A resume should tell an interesting story, not be a laundry list of everything you've ever done. Jettison things that are irrelevant to the plot line.
  • Level the playing field: You demonstrate confidence when you engage the interviewer with questions of your own. It immediately levels the playing field.

Branding Is About You:

Kathleen McQuiggan, vice president of Pax World Fund stresses that “personal branding is about YOU. You need to define it. You need to develop it. You need to be able to communicate it and have a strategy on how to grow your brand. Think of your brand as a campaign to talk about yourself.”

Be Concise and Specific:

Nanci Raphael, author of Entrepreneur’s Guide to Mastering the Inner World of Business, gives this advice on how to phrase your branding message: “Be clear, concise and specific when building your pitch. Keep it short so others will remember and repeat it. Constantly reinforce your brand, in writing or when speaking. Make it your mantra.”


Posted by: 
Linda Descano

NYWICI Must Reads July 14, 2017

July 14, 2017
Posted by: 
Tekla Szymanski

What We Learned From Claire Wasserman

July 10, 2017

Claire Wasserman PodcastWith the first season of the New York Women in Communications podcast Coffee Break w/NYWICI in the books, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite episodes to revisit the wise words and compelling conversations we’ve had with some of the brightest women in media and communications.

Our Episode 11 guest was Claire Wasserman, founder of Ladies Get Paid, an organization that facilitates female leadership and helps create an inclusive work environment. Claire gave actionable advice for how to be the best advocate for yourself at the office. (Episode 11 on iTunes | Episode 11 on Soundcloud). 

Here is what we’ve learned from Claire:

Transform Your Negative Experiences

Claire was at an advertising festival in France when she was asked, “Whose wife are you?”

“In a way, I want to thank that man because he started Ladies Get Paid,” Claire said. “It was a week of things like that happening and I went home and felt weird about it. I internalized it…that typical thing of saying it’s my fault, it’s my fault. Then it struck me that in my entire career, I’m 30 now, I’ve experienced a lot of this micro-misogyny.”

Ladies Get Paid began in NYC but now has events across the country. The more than 40.000 members of the organization’s Slack group share articles, resources and job opportunities to help women rise up at work. “We’re industry agnostic — challenges are universal,” Claire said. “We’re going after the stuff that most women tell us that they’re struggling with. For the most part, that tends to be negotiating — the number one challenge women tell us when they sign up for Ladies GET Paid.”

A big part of Ladies Get Paid is the “Workplace Bill of Rights”, a manifesto for women to declare their values. As part of Claire’s philanthropic mission, 10 percent of the proceeds from the “Workplace Bill of Rights” goes to She Should Run, an organization aiming to increase the number of women in in public office.


Grow Your Network and “Make Sh*t Happen”

Claire started working in experiential marketing to fund the ideas and people she thinks should be part of meaningful initiatives. “We did something for a client in the Art Directors Club, which is a space in New York, a non-profit that helps connect people in visual communications,” Claire said. “When I did this initiative in their space, I decided I’d actually rather work for them because they’re a network. What I’ve been amassing in the past year and a half is all these contacts, and [I saw] how powerful it was to be able to tap into your Rolodex and make sh*t happen.”

Claire said she got a new job from that experience and learned that connecting others can be a new job in itself.


The Art of Negotiation: Show You’re a Top Performer

When you approach your boss to ask for a raise, don’t expect them to know why you deserve it. Come prepared with research about the company and background of your skills and contributions.

“Know your worth within the context of the company,” Claire said. You can’t just assume, “Well this is what the internet said. Look at it as holistically as possible…there’s something called a salary band. Say ‘I believe I’m a top performer and this is why.’ Bring evidence from the market and your own work.”

Maintain your confidence by shoving down the fear of speaking up. Remember that you’re in the room on a mission. What happens if you ask your boss and get silence?

“Be uncomfortable with the silence, the ball is in their court. If you get a no, ask, ‘When’s the next time I can ask? What do you need to see from me to get the yes?’” Claire said. “Then get it in writing. Thank them in an email for their time, reference that you’ll meet in six months [or the time agreed on]. Obviously in that time, look for another job as a back-up.”


Find Liberation in Financial Transparency

Why is it uncomfortable to talk about money with friends? Claire thinks how much we make should be part of our normal conversations because it can help give a baseline for negotiation when asking for a promotion. She cautions not to base your insight off one source; ask other people you know in the industry.

Claire was transparent with finances for Ladies Get Paid: She splits the profits 50/50. “For a town hall that’s run in another city, there’s an organizing committee, and they take 50 percent of the workshops. Instructors take 50% for workshops. Everyone’s getting paid. As a start-up, it’s helpful because I didn’t have to have capital outright.”  


Define What Money Means To You

Does more financial freedom mean less anxiety or more flexibility? To Claire, it means power.

“You negotiating for yourself is actually negotiating for the woman next to you… moving the needle collectively.” If you get a raise, that can encourage other women in your industry to get a raise to compete with industry standards.


Thanks to Claire Wasserman for being part of the podcast! To hear more about the art of negotiation and Ladies Get Paid, visit nywici.org/podcast.



Posted by: 
Elizabeth Roberts

Event Recap: How to Manage Your Inner Critic

July 2, 2017

NYWICI was excited to host Lisa McCarthy, Founder and CEO of FastForward Group, at the Cocktails & Conversations event "Learning How to Manage Your Inner Critic" on June 27, 2017, at Time Inc. (you can read a pre-event Q&A with Lisa here).

Lisa calls that inner nagging voice that is criticizing yourself relentlessly your "Inner Critic". And she wants to help you tame it. She has declared that women don’t put themselves first and must do so, and she promised that we would leave her panel with actionable items. Lisa did not disappoint. 

Lisa asserted, “It’s up to you to fuel your confidence by acknowledging your own strength and power.” The same voices that offer negativity can also offer positive self-talk. 

According to Lisa, your Inner Critic is:

  • ongoing commentary about everything
  • automatic
  • often negative
  • not true (point of view vs. fact)

Lisa McCarthyIn order to muzzle our Inner Critic, Lisa says, “We have to slay the beast.” Participants were encouraged to write down their experience and share it with a partner: Some found this exercise to be “eye-opening”, “agonizing” and “comparing of ourselves”. In the end, NYWICI members and guests learned that we all share the similar experience: We are critical of how we live our lives — and we beat ourselves up when we compare ourselves to the “ideal person”. 

Lisa ended the evening by telling the NYWICI community how to manage their Inner Critic. These takeaways included:

  • share it with someone out loud
  • get into action and step out of your comfort zone
  • simply notice it: Be an observer and watch your critical thoughts or commentary
  • focus on contributing vs. what people think of you
  • forgive yourself

In addition, write a journal, where you reflect on yourself: In the morning, jot down three things you’re grateful for. And in the evening, recollect three things you’re proud of or that you did well that day.


Slideshow Photos: Jan Goldstoff


Posted by: 
Erica Martell